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Women on the Edge of Time: A Literary Analysis

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  1. Introduction
  2. Women on the Edge of Time
  3. A Literary Analysis
  4. Albert Camus
  5. Conclusion

Women on the Edge of Time can be referred as a feminist utopia though it presents the reader with the literary choice to question the society capabilities of embracing utopia. After a thorough analysis, the individual reader realizes the role of the human race in changing the future of the society. Marge presents the reader with the utopia fantasy and the horrific limitations of human evolution. The novel is dark and violent with the protagonist having no real hope of salvation while at same time the world fate remains unsettled in her psyche. The book creates the character Connie in the midst of a family crisis who finally ends up in a mental institution. Impoverished, abused, tortured and misdiagnosed, Connie has every reason to be and remain crazy. She remains sane until the time she starts seeing visions of people living beyond the year 2137. She claims that these individuals have contacted her since she is responsive and receptive to their communication. This makes it difficult to classify the novel in a particular genre. Calling it utopian fiction, magical realism or a woman's novel requires an ideological choice and basis.

The book is an optimistic story of human agency journeying through hard times and oppressive regime. Connie the main character is a female from a certain gender and social background, factors crucial for her disenfranchisement. She chooses to turn the weapons made for her culture against the wielders and seize power through all means when it is available to her. The futuristic society envisioned by Connie can be placed under feminist utopia. In this case, gender roles have been eliminated in the context of other issues that affected 1970 era in the United States including, racism, pollution and homophobia. In the future world under the viewership of Connie, the normal childbearing finds replacement with laboratories. Reversed roles are seen in this era, where men can breastfeed. The female/male dichotomy in raising children is lost with no distinctive difference in gender role.

[...] A man is defined from the standpoint and view of various issues. From the viewpoint of Vonnegut and championing for what is right, he would find happiness in offering the same services to the fallen world of Connie's utopianism. Saving the world arises from standing and fighting for what is right in the society(Michael 56-61). Furthermore, people find pleasure in what they do, and this would have been the happiness for Kurt Vonnegut. In this world, Simone de Beauvoir would have been happy. [...]


[...] Reversed roles are seen in this era, where men can breastfeed. The female/male dichotomy in raising children is lost with no distinctive difference in gender role. Connie questions whether this futuristic society has lost the human touch and the good things it offers(Piercy 74-81). In one of her vision, Connie sees an alternate future dominated by wealthy capitalists who live in space stations. To suit their own needs and greed, they use fellow humans left behind in a ravaged earth. [...]

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