Examining the proximity of power structures in dystopian and anti-utopian literature

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor's Name

Bruce Harvey

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Asher Z. Milbauer

Third Advisor's Name

Ana Luszczynska

Date of Defense



The purpose of this research is to examine power in dystopian and anti-utopian literature as it relates to the proximity of power structures in relation to the populace. This research uses The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood; Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell; and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley to explore the different methods of gaining and maintaining power employed by the ruling parties in these texts. The research demonstrates an arrangement of control as it relates to implementing, solidifying, and perpetuating a hegemonic structure within a civilization. The conclusion of this research reveals an evolution of power, from physical to psychological to technological in the bid to maintain control over an extended span of time and shows the ruling party to be able to remove themselves from proximity by employing ever more invasive techniques of control.



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