Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Renee Hudson
Dr. Joanna Levin
Dr. Justine Van Meter
Marxist allegorical reading in Third World literature and the pertinent analysis of binary class struggles in First World literature, typified by Fredric Jameson’s 1986 essay “Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism,” have long been canonized in literary studies. The undertaking of a postcolonial debate on literary interpretation is a necessary step toward readjusting postcolonial study into the paradigm of critical analysis prioritized by Marxism. Here, I demonstrate that both The Three-Body Problem (2014) from China and Dawn (1987) from the U.S., science fiction novels typifying Third and First World literature, respectively, primarily reflect a postcolonial struggle rather than class conflict. By examining the varied, unconventional forms of resistance of the heroines from the two novels against different male-centered colonial dominances, I illustrate individual women and women of color’s determined anticolonial endeavors for their emancipation from their oppressors. Such an attempt supersedes the male-centric Marxist class interpretation. I also use the critique of classic postcolonial theories and integrate other anticolonial perspectives in the analysis, such as the philosophy of romance and the politics of betrayal, to elaborate on the two female protagonists’ unique attempts at decolonization in the genre of science fiction, which not only provide individual women and women of color with the agency to defy various forms of domination but also invigorate the conventional Marxism-focused literary discipline by incorporating it with a postcolonial rubric.
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Chen, Su. Beyond Allegory: Postcolonial Debates in Science Fiction. 2023. Chapman University, MA Thesis. Chapman University Digital Commons, https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000433