Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Creator/Destroyer: The Function of the Heroine in Post-Apocalyptic Feminist Speculative Fiction
by Patrick, Mary Margaret Hughes, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2017, 205; 10274963
Abstract (Summary)

The heroine in feminist speculative fiction signifies and functions as the creator and destroyer of her community, particularly based on dystopian societies, the heroine uses the duality of creator and destroyer without the complexities of present society; however, the issues in these novels serve to highlight and emphasize problems with current gender identity and equality.

Furthermore, the idea this heroine exists to destabilize narratives of patriarchy give voice to the powerless while continuing a narrative of the powerlessness, and counter narratives of gender normality. Each heroine confronts a patriarchal leader who symbolizes the faults in the existing societal régime, which allows her to undermine the hierarchy set up by men. With narrative centered on experiences of the heroine, the authors of these texts show how one voice can help exemplify the many. As heroines who incorporate characteristics of gender, they demonstrate that to lead, a person must be willing to identify not just as one sex, but as a person who understands where certain characteristics are not inherently male or female.

Her role as creator/destroyer is to achieve communal, structural, and personal unity, completeness, or wholeness. The heroine looks to institute communities that depend on one another, that understand each person has strength to share, and that build trust on these shared strengths. The heroine seeks harmony with the people around her, but she also discovers harmony within herself. She must learn to accept the notion that as the creator of something new, she is also the destroyer. It is her acceptance of this wholeness that will help her lead a new kind of humanity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Davis-McElligatt, Joanna
Commitee: Costello, Rita, Ingram, Shelley, McGuire, Jerry
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Modern literature, Womens studies, Gender studies
Keywords: Heroine, Post-apocalyptic feminist speculative fiction
Publication Number: 10274963
ISBN: 978-0-355-52049-1
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