Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Charles Elkins

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Marilyn Hoder-Salmon

Third Advisor's Name

Lisa Blansett

Date of Defense



The purpose of this thesis was to examine the treatment and portrayal of children in science fiction utopian literature and determine whether this effectively indicated the writers’ feminist visions for social change. A feminist theoretical perspective and critical interpretation of several of the genre’s canon, Sheri Tepper’s The Gate to Women’s Country, Suzy McKee Chamas’s Motherlines, Sally Miller Gearhart’s The Wanderground, Ursula Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and Octavia Butler’s Xenogenesis series, were used as research methodologies.

The findings revealed that children communicate feminist prescriptions for change in three ways: children as the literal, biological future, the link between two opposing societies, or the explanation for the difficult philosophies and structural elements of the societies. As this subject has been an unexplored area of criticism, it is recommended that critics begin to examine this treatment of children to more easily understand the writers’ social visions and effect their blueprints for change.




First published under the name Jessica Connor.



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