Sisterhood and Survival: An Exploration of Women’s Relationships in Feminist Speculative Fiction
Author: Madeleine Gernhard
Graduation Year: 2022
Thesis Advisor: Caroline Bicks
Description of Publication: Writers have used the genre of feminist speculative fiction as a lens through which to view modern issues which effect women. Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Margaret Atwood’ Handmaid’s Tale, and Naomi Alderman’s The Power each explore dystopian or transitory dystopian societies in which women are pitted against one another for the sake of their survival. In reviewing the relationships which the women in these novels have to each other we stand to gain insights into the ways in which sisterhood influences change in these societies. Each of these works, while centering around different understandings of dystopian society, also prominently feature the ways in which women’s individual relationships with each other are changed or influenced by these societies. The unique ability for these authors to not only reflect patriarchal societies and values, but also the relationships which are strained or created by the exacerbation of violent patriarchal societies, creates an avenue of exploration into the ways women interact within the context of the real world. The work of this thesis centers around the analysis and understanding of these relationships, and the importance which the representation of women’s relationships in dystopian fiction has in relation to the genre as a whole.
Location of Publication:
URL to Thesis: https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/honors/738