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Survival: an Eco-feminist Interpretation of the Year of the Flood

Author YinBo
Tutor ChenKePei
School Changsha University of Science and Technology
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Margaret Atwood The Year of the Flood Eco-feminism Survival
CLC I711.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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This thesis selects the latest novel The Year of the Flood (2009) of MargaretAtwood,“the queen of Canadian literature”, as its object to explore andexplicate the relationship between men and nature, women and nature, men andwomen, nature and culture and humans’survival crisis under the domination ofCorporate power politics in the perspective of eco-feminist criticism. By probinginto the eco-feminist elements that Atwood has utilized consciously orunconsciously here, the thesis aims to examine how the writer has perfectlycombined her ecological complex and feminist concern together in order todiscover the eco-feminist connotation of thought and ideology embodied in thenovel. The significance of the study for the reality is to make people haveintrospection to the road of survival and development of mankind, giving awarning to the present ecological and interpersonal crisis.As a sensitive woman writer with an ecological consciousness, Atwooddepicts a“waterless flood”which wiped away everything in the future and bydoing so, she expresses a deep concern and anxiety about women and nature’svictimized living state and the survival problems that all life forms areconfronted with in the patriarchal society. The thesis consists of four chapterswith the introduction and the conclusion. Introduction part, firstly, includes themotivation, objective, significance, methodology and structure of the research.Secondly, the thesis goes to define the concept of eco-feminism, its mainthoughts and ideas, the key eco-feminists and their theories. Thirdly, the writinghas a literature survey of Atwood and the text, The Year of the Flood. The mainbody of the thesis is constructed by the next two parts, and finally it is theconclusion of the writing. Through analyzing the interrelationship between menand nature, men and women, women and nature, nature and culture, the thesisputs the survival problems under the dualism, attempting to expose theoppressive conceptual framework and“a logic of domination”within thedomination of patriarchy. In the process of integrating into nature, theprotagonists renew themselves and finally triumph over men and win their identities in the society, therefore, they have survived from the waterless flood.Besides, the fiction also criticizes the anthro-centrism behaviors includingCorporate power politics and the rationalism of science and technology whichhave resulted in our social crisis and survival problems; summarizes theecological ideas and thoughts of God’s Gardeners and at last points out thatecological holism and biotic egalitarian would be the best choice for mankind tosurvive in the world.The ecological feminist thoughts and the limitations of the text aresummarized in the conclusion of the thesis. The writing concludes that Nature isthe highest standard to examine the lives in the planet. Human beings can notdevelop if they do not obey the rules and regulations of nature.

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