Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The amtal rule: Testing to define in Frank Herbert's Dune
by Irizarry, Adella, M.A., Florida Atlantic University, 2013, 80; 1524501
Abstract (Summary)

In this project, I focus on the function of the “amtal,” or test of definition or destruction, in Frank Herbert's Dune. It is my argument that these tests “to destruction” determine not only the limits or defects of the person being tested, but also—and more crucially—the very limits and defects of the definition of humanity in three specific cultural spheres within the novel: the Bene Gesserit, the Fremen, and the Faufreluches. The definitions of “amtal” as well as “humanity,” like all definitions, are somewhat fluid, changing depending on usage, cultural context, and the political and social needs of the society which uses them. Accordingly, Dune remains an instructive text for thinking through contemporary and controversial notions about the limits of humanism and, consequently, of animalism and posthumanism.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Swanstrom, Elizabeth
Commitee: Mason, Julia, Scroggins, Mark
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 52/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, American literature
Keywords: Animal studies and animalism, Dune, Herbert, Frank, Humanism and posthumanism, Science fiction, Test of definition or destruction
Publication Number: 1524501
ISBN: 978-1-303-55499-5
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