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postgraduate thesis: Envisioning alternative interiors: space and ecology in Margaret Atwood's short stories and Orys and Crake

TitleEnvisioning alternative interiors: space and ecology in Margaret Atwood's short stories and Orys and Crake
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Jia, Q. [贾倩]. (2012). Envisioning alternative interiors : space and ecology in Margaret Atwood's short stories and Orys and Crake. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784987
AbstractThis thesis explores the ways Margaret Atwood represents, complicates, and seeks for alternative visions to the seemingly inescapable confinement in her four collections of short fiction published in different stages in her career and her 2003 dystopian novel Oryx and Crake. The recurrent formal pattern of the separation of the inside and the outside as well as the various ways offered to assuage the sense of constraint in the stories are read metaphorically as the author’s ways of dealing with confinement in general. The diversity of situations unfolded under the general condition of entrapment in the stories question the legitimacy of the crude division of duality, and the imaginative engagement with the predicament offers a variety of possibilities of negotiation within frames. I also discuss Atwood’s disfiguring of a specific conceptual frame that traps the mind, the monolithic notion of “the human” that naturalizes humans as against nature, in the particular literary situations in her short stories, such as how the notion becomes confining, how to countervail its negative influence, and whether we can discard it completely. The insistence on the importance of specificity and the power of imagination unsettles the mechanistic ways of thinking, hinders the absolute legitimation of the concept of “the human”, and forces the reader to notice the particularity in different relationships humans have with animals and nature as well as resist the tendency of generalization and negation. The thesis further analyzes the author’s critical reflection on imagination, the essential faculty we rely on to counter the confining reality and make changes, as shown in Oryx and Crake. Showing the complex relationships between imagination and reality, the author stresses their mutual influence and, more importantly, warns against the danger of crossing the boundary between the two. Further, building apparent connections between her dystopian society and the present world, the author reminds us to be cautious with our imaginative responses to the predicaments of the present society with regard to science, capital, and humanity that she dramatized in her envisioned future.
DegreeMaster of Philosophy
Dept/ProgramEnglish

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorJia, Qian-
dc.contributor.author贾倩-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationJia, Q. [贾倩]. (2012). Envisioning alternative interiors : space and ecology in Margaret Atwood's short stories and Orys and Crake. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b4784987-
dc.description.abstractThis thesis explores the ways Margaret Atwood represents, complicates, and seeks for alternative visions to the seemingly inescapable confinement in her four collections of short fiction published in different stages in her career and her 2003 dystopian novel Oryx and Crake. The recurrent formal pattern of the separation of the inside and the outside as well as the various ways offered to assuage the sense of constraint in the stories are read metaphorically as the author’s ways of dealing with confinement in general. The diversity of situations unfolded under the general condition of entrapment in the stories question the legitimacy of the crude division of duality, and the imaginative engagement with the predicament offers a variety of possibilities of negotiation within frames. I also discuss Atwood’s disfiguring of a specific conceptual frame that traps the mind, the monolithic notion of “the human” that naturalizes humans as against nature, in the particular literary situations in her short stories, such as how the notion becomes confining, how to countervail its negative influence, and whether we can discard it completely. The insistence on the importance of specificity and the power of imagination unsettles the mechanistic ways of thinking, hinders the absolute legitimation of the concept of “the human”, and forces the reader to notice the particularity in different relationships humans have with animals and nature as well as resist the tendency of generalization and negation. The thesis further analyzes the author’s critical reflection on imagination, the essential faculty we rely on to counter the confining reality and make changes, as shown in Oryx and Crake. Showing the complex relationships between imagination and reality, the author stresses their mutual influence and, more importantly, warns against the danger of crossing the boundary between the two. Further, building apparent connections between her dystopian society and the present world, the author reminds us to be cautious with our imaginative responses to the predicaments of the present society with regard to science, capital, and humanity that she dramatized in her envisioned future.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B47849873-
dc.titleEnvisioning alternative interiors: space and ecology in Margaret Atwood's short stories and Orys and Crake-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb4784987-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEnglish-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b4784987-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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