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Variazioni sull'apocalisse

Un percorso nella cultura occidentale dal Novecento ai giorni nostri

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Edited By Alessandro Baldacci, Anna Małgorzata Brysiak and Tomasz Skocki

L’apocalisse, nelle sue innumerevoli forme e interpretazioni, costituisce uno dei temi cardine della cultura e dell’immaginario collettivo dell’ultimo secolo, in cui ritorna costantemente l’idea della fine e del «dopo la fine». Il volume si propone di indagare, in ottica comparata e interdisciplinare, le più diverse narrazioni e rappresentazioni apocalittiche del XX e XXI secolo, spaziando dalla letteratura al cinema, dall’arte alla filosofia, fino alle serie televisive contemporanee.

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Swastika Night, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Children of Men: The Role of Women, the Importance of Birth Rate and All the Dystopian Elements of an Apocalyptic World (Francesco Bacci)

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Francesco Bacci

Swastika Night, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Children of Men: The Role of Women, the Importance of Birth Rate and All the Dystopian Elements of an Apocalyptic World

Abstract: This essay intends to analyze how P. D. James’s The Children of Men, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Katharine Burdekin’s Swastika Night create an apocalyptic world that is destroying itself. The main objective is to explore three stories set in a society where human rights are not relevant, and the characters feel a general sense of hopelessness. Moreover, the study discusses the role of women, pregnancy, and birth rate with the support of essays, interviews, and articles that also take into consideration the books’ on-screen adaptations.

Keywords: dystopian novel, dystopia, Margaret Atwood, Katharine Burdekin, P.D. James, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Children of Men, Swastika Night

In the creation of three dystopian worlds, Katharine Burdekin, Margaret Atwood, and P. D. James build narrative universes that share several characteristics. Swastika Night is set in the 1930s and it was written by Burdekin during a period of fear for the upcoming terrible historical outcomes. It is one of the first attempts at discussing society with a dystopian novel driven by a feminist perspective. Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale introduces us to a complex future where women don’t have the possibility of choosing which role they want to assume in society. P. D. James’s The Children of Men highlights how birth rate and fertility play...

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