• The human delusion: A discussion into the emergence of the posthuman through the deconstruction of the liberal humanist view of the self in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl

      Stephenson, William; Kelly, Sarah (University of Chester, 2013-09)
      This dissertation will serve to investigate the deconstruction of the liberal humanist vision of the ‘self’ through a posthumanist reading of the two dystopian novels Oryx and Crake and The Windup Girl by Margaret Atwood and Paolo Bacigalupi respectively. By engaging with these two novels, this dissertation will focus primarily on a posthumanist reading of the texts and analyse the perceived image of the nineteenth century ‘man’ and discuss the possible disappearance of this view of what it means to be a human being. The introduction will explain the differences between the liberal humanist subject, the transhumanist subject and the posthumanist subject. The main body of the dissertation will then discuss key issues surrounding these three subjects. By focusing on epistemic shifts, the blurring of boundaries between humans and animals and the end of a capitalistic model of living, this dissertation serves to prove how these two novels expose the threat that the liberal humanist subject poses to itself and highlights the inevitable move to the posthuman. This dissertation also serves to discuss the possibility of the human and posthuman being able to survive together.