Women and Nature? Nature Writing in the Dystopian World Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments

  • Natalia Fontes de Oliveira Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)


Women and nature have an age-long association that has persisted throughout history, cultures, literatures and arts. In much of western thought, women are viewed as closer to nature in binary opposition to men, who have metaphorically and historically been associated with culture. The androcentric logic extends the binary opposition to culture/nature, placing a higher value on culture and as a result sanctioning human domination over nature. The analysis undertaken refutes this literary and philosophical heritage of an androcentric epistemology by deconstructing the symbolic and historical association between women and nature to advocate for humanity’s interconnectedness with the ecosystem. This article investigates the competing discourses of nature writing in Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments (2019) to rewrite the complex and plural relationship between women, nature, and technology. The theoretical and methodological framework of this study encompasses feminist literary criticism, dystopian studies and ecofeminist criticism. In the dystopia, the protagonists Agnes and Lydia use subversive nature writing to fight against victimization and search for empowerment. This paper expands feminist conceptions and protagonism, in addition, to providing reflections about androcentrism and anthropomorphism, with the literary and social commitment to awaken different perspectives that trigger particular processes underlying the struggle for equity among marginalized minorities.

Biografia do Autor

Natalia Fontes de Oliveira, Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV)
Ph.D. pela Purdue University; Professora do Departamento de Letras da Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV); Coordenadora do Grupo de Pesquisa Mullheres e Ficção; membro do GT Mulher e Literatura da Anpoll.



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