This Summer’s Research: Blog Post 2

Hello to any readers:

I will be posting blogs from the research I did this summer, as for my thesis, I am now in the “writing” stage.

Blog Post 2: Starting out with the literature

This summer, since my research combines literary criticism, gender (Ecofeminist) theory, and scientific information, I started by looking into a wide variety of sources. For example, the first literary work I started reading this summer was the first book in the MaddAddam series by Margaret Atwood, titled Oryx and Crake. Having read the second book in the series only, The Year of the Flood (YOTF), I was surprised at how different an angle Atwood took with this novel. In YOTF, the story is much more spread out over many different characters, where as Oryx and Crake centers mainly upon one character, Jimmy, and plays with his temporal storyline. Atwood masterfully uses time throughout her novels to tell her stories dynamically, switching between the character’s “past” and “present” at rather unpredictable intervals, which allows her to be specific and anecdotal with her writing. One of the most important parts for reading Oryx and Crake early on in the summer was that it provides a lot of background information for what happens in YOTF. Being more deeply introduced to Glenn in Oryx and Crake really influenced my research, as his character deserves much close reading and analysis. He is an extremely science-focused, genius, sociopathic character that ultimately brings about the apocalypse in the MaddAddam series (spoilers!). Taking notes on his character proved to be very helpful and gave me more direction in knowing what factors of toxicity I wanted look more closely at: scientific, genetic toxicity and gender-based toxicity.

Reading Oryx and Crake first allowed me to better know what to look for when searching for criticism. As the novel was a male-focused narrative, I looked for more criticism and theory surrounding masculinity and how it affects toxicity in women.

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