Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Mirror Room
by Warren, Trevor D., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2020, 227; 28028398
Abstract (Summary)

Imagine reversing the human impact on the ecosystem as simply as pressing cntrl + alt + delete. When technology advances faster each new decade than it has over hundreds of generations, this concept isn’t so impossible. The Mirror Room explores the implications of a program that has the ability to mimic physical reality. It is set in a hypothetical future where the world governments have split into agrarian socialist communities and domed technocracies.

Through imagery, such as the last of a diminishing species of fish accidentally being squashed by the protagonist, the novel explores the unintentional, and intentional, destruction of nature by human activity. In the technocratic society of the future, the act of destroying the fish is punishable by a televised court hearing. (In a highly surveilled society such as Columbia Dome, and one where social reputation is the only way to advance in public and career standings, the convergence of Bentham’s and Focault’s panopticon is presented as normal for the protagonist, January Miles. However, this allows for the conversation throughout the novel as to what is too much control, represented as power). To push back on the authoritarian government of the dome, January manipulates the dome’s systems through her advanced affinity for computer code.

When it is discovered that the technocracy is abusing the power of the VR program, putting lives in the agrarian society beyond the dome at fatal risk, January risks not only her own position in the dome, but her freedom and possibly life in order to keep The Board from hitting the reset button. The central argument is whether the earth is so far gone by this point in the future that a majority of humanity should be sacrificed to restore balance. Is there a way to help restore this balance without taking lives? Humanity may have to be at the end before we stop the endless battle for power and use our incredible minds to save the planet.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Walker, Nicole, Lenhart, Lawrence
Commitee: Johnson, Chelsey
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 82/2(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Creative writing, Social research, Climate Change
Keywords: Hypothetical future, Agrarian socialist communities, Domed technocracies, Original fiction
Publication Number: 28028398
ISBN: 9798664751024
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