De kinderen van Moeder Aarde zullen Thule bewaren
The word utopia first appeared in the eponymous book of Thomas More in 1516 where it got its definition: a social planning, a design for a future ideal world or social order radically different from the criticised present world, casted in a literary form. Sometimes utopia takes the form of a dystopia: a society with merely negative elements. At the end of the nineteen eighties the female Dutch writer Thea Beckman writes children’s novel about a future world, consisting of three parts, named Kinderen van Moeder Aarde. It tells the story about two imaginary nations, Thule and het Badense Rijk, that are in constant conflict with each other. Where Thule, located on an island, is presented as an ideal society, where the people live in harmony with each other and nature, is het Badense Rijk presented as a conflict driven empire where the biggest part of the population lives in poverty. Thule and het Badense Rijk, becaus! e of this reason, can be seen as a utopia and a dystopia in which the writer criticises her own society. This thesis explores the way in which the three novels Kinderen van Moeder Aarde (1985), Het Helse Paradijs (1987) and Het Gulden Vlies van Thule (1989) contain utopian and dystopian elements. The reason that I decided to analyse this trilogy is because Beckman, according my thesis, attempts to teach children i.e. the readers, about the danger of environmental pollution, poverty, overpopulation and suppression. She packages the messages in a science-fiction story and casts the two imaginary nations into a utopian and dystopian mold, to point out her personal position on the subjects. The main question I want to answer is: how do the utopian and dystopian elements appear in the societies that are being represented in the trilogy Kinderen van Moeder Aarde by Thea Beckman? To answer this question I use the narratology to analyse the three novels. I will also address the specific cho! ice of th e nation’s names by Beckman and the context where she wrote it in.
Faculteit der Letteren