Environmental empowerment: Gender, nature, agency, and violence in 21st-century ecofiction

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2024-05
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Collet, Carina
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Sivils, Matthew W.
Sams, Brandon
Withers, Jeremy
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English
Abstract
This analysis investigates the 21st-century relationship between gender, nature, and violence as depicted in contemporary ecofiction. In a warming world, the human-nature relationship requires more investigation than ever before. Using an ecofeminist lens, this analysis examines a variety of texts to form an extensive and multifaceted analysis of the connections between gender, nature, and agentic violence. I focus primarily on female-authored texts: Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, and N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy. Where the Crawdads Sing provides insight into the freedom nature grants women to enact violence, while The Daughter of Doctor Moreau examines the relationship between nature and agency, which I contrast with H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau, the 1896 novella which inspired Moreno-Garcia’s text. The Broken Earth trilogy brings the age-old association of women and nature into question and reflects current cultural fears and hopes in a fictional futuristic dystopia./ Taken together, these texts display a mutually empowering relationship between women and nature in 21st-century woman-authored literature.
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