Beyond a Partnership Ethic: Evolutions of Ecofeminism in the Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy and Jean Hegland's Into the Forest
Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
In this paper, I analyze two contemporary post-apocalyptic novels, Jean Hegland’s novel Into the Forest and Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy, through an ecofeminist lens to argue that they establish a framework for an existence that decenters the human and rejects Eurocentric, masculinized conceptions of individualism. I put these novels in conversation with Eduardo Kohn’s book How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human, and the ecofeminist works of Carolyn Merchant, Donna Haraway, and Val Plumwood. My paper is split into three sections, Women/Nature, Human/Nonhuman, and Individual/Collective. I use the slash as a glyph to denote moments of non-dualism, unquantifiable coincidences of being that show up in the landscape of the post apocalypse. I use these non-dualistic paradigms to argue that Atwood and Helgand’s narratives push the boundaries of ecofeminism beyond ideas of a partnership ethic with the earth by contesting what it means to be human entirely. I examine moments in these novels that propose a new goal of ecofeminist thought: a human/nature existence that prioritizes care, respects plants, melds with animals, and ultimately, evolves the human race entirely.
Lashley, Catherine, "Beyond a Partnership Ethic: Evolutions of Ecofeminism in the Post-Apocalyptic Landscapes of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy and Jean Hegland's Into the Forest" (2023). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 2034.