By Mary Elizabeth Theis
Simply because advances made by means of technology and know-how some distance outstripped advancements in human nature, utopian desires of excellent societies within the 20th century fast metamorphosed into dystopian nightmares, which undermined person identification and threatened the integrity of the relatives. Armed with technological and medical instruments, totalizing social structures present in literature abolish the excellence among private and non-private existence and hence penetrate and corrupt the very center of all utopian blueprints and visions: the schooling of destiny generations. on the middle of the relatives, moms as mom and dad transmit their various cultural traditions whereas socializing their teenagers and hence compete with ideologically pushed platforms that usurp their position as educators. Mothers and Masters in modern Utopian and Dystopian Literature focuses, consequently, at the thematic significance of this and different maternal roles for well-known metamorphosis: the shift to dystopia perpetually is signaled via the inversion of conventional maternal roles. The durability of the utopian-dystopian literary culture and endurance of the maternal version of human relationships function issues of reference during this post-modern age of relative cultural values. Meta-utopian exploration of this thematic rigidity among utopia and dystopia reminds us that «no position» is probably not domestic, yet we have to maintain going there
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Additional info for Mothers and masters in twentieth century utopian and dystopian literature
At the sound of her name, she turned. Her vague eyes brightened with recognition. She squeezed his hand, she smiled, her lips moved; then quite suddenly her head fell forward. She was asleep. 32 This nonverbal communication reminds him of the magically strange and mysterious rhymes and the lessons that his mother sang and repeated to him when he was a child. It also evokes the memory of her stories of that beautiful Other Place, a “paradise of goodness and loveliness” which he has kept whole and intact despite its discordance with London, the reality to which the stories ironically refer (154).
Beresford’s utopians, for example, have destroyed all but thirty-one books, which they believe contain the collected wisdom of the world and have lost the “primitive taste for voyage and adventure”; and for them, “sex was a reasoned function exercised for the maintenance of the community and was no longer a source of either emotion or pleasure” (157, 165). The impetus for such extreme self-discipline and the atrophy of individual desires, Beresford claims, however, is “not an outside power consciously controlling every unit of the universe, but that inward knowledge .
In this transformed Wellsian vision of he future, measures such as these would become necessary because the family as an institution—along with other social institutions—would disintegrate. indd 23 12/26/2008 3:05:16 PM 24 mothers and masters associations of industrialized production, the daily paper and so forth—will not be converted into “organic forces” (255). Without them, the Wellsian visionary in The Shape of Things to Come, predicts that minds will lapse toward cruel and base self-seeking and entirely individualistic aims, and warfare will break down the remaining inhibitions to violence (253).