Date Thesis Awarded

4-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Melanie Dawson

Committee Member

Christy Burns

Committee Member

Keith Johnson

Committee Member

Carey Bagdassarian

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze Margaret Atwood’s trilogy, MaddAddam, focusing primarily on The Year of the Flood and its portrayal of religion, ecofeminism, and survival. In the first section of the paper, I outline the religion, the God’s Gardeners, and the importance of their deep ecological beliefs. Following that, I show how Atwood provides an ecofeminist view of this religion through the perspective of female protagonists. Then, I detail the issue of survival and the way religion is repurposed for society to survive. Finally, in the last section, I compare MaddAddam to Octavia Butler’s novels, Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents, as well as, Jean Hegland’s novel, Into the Forest. These texts all portray women’s roles as rebuilders of society in tandem with their rewriting of religion. I highlight how both the authors and characters of these works use writing to revise and restructure religion and their established communities with ecofeminist belief systems. Ultimately I aim to answer the questions: Why do new communities – particularly those led by women – that form in a post-apocalyptic world need religion at all? How do these women manipulate or interpret former religions as their own? How can religion intersect with ecological intentions in a positive way? What would that look like?