The Feminist Dystopia: A Literary (Sub)genre?
This thesis examines whether or not feminist dystopian fiction can be seen as a distinct literary (sub)genre. It considers the importance of looking at both internal features of texts and at recognition by the field with regard to the emergence of (new) (sub)genres. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale is of particular importance, as it has been analysed as a feminist dystopia and is nowadays often used as touchstone for contemporary works regarded as similar to it This thesis establishes that Atwood’s work and the four novels of which my corpus is composed all present narratives that can be labelled as feminist dystopian fiction, which is concluded on the basis of a shared set of internal features. These features are often pointed out by critics (and sometimes also by publishers), but feminist dystopian fiction is not (yet) entirely recognised as a distinct literary (sub)genre.
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