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Social critique in the major novels of John Wyndham : civilization's secrets and nature's truths

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Social critique in the major novels of John Wyndham : civilization's secrets and nature's truths

Green, Michael Douglas (2000) Social critique in the major novels of John Wyndham : civilization's secrets and nature's truths. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

John Wyndham's four major novels: The Day of the Triffids , The Kraken Wakes , The Chrysalids , and The Midwich Cuckoos . Wyndham has been dismissed by many critics as a writer of "cosy catastrophes", a term coined by Brian Aldiss. This title is meant to suggest that Wyndham's works are critically insignificant, and that, as Nicholas Ruddick suggests, they do not repay serious critical attention. I would argue that not only do Wyndham's works repay critical attention, but that there is consistent social criticism inherent in these works. In the four novels in question, Wyndham seems preoccupied with a number of ideas. He attacks the power of Big Business, Government, and the Military, and what I would characterize as their "Cult of Secrecy". Wyndham also criticizes irrational faith in any ideology, particularly in nationalism, Scientism (or the power of science to solve humanity's problems), and religion. Finally, Wyndham seems specifically concerned with the fate of humankind in light of Darwinian ideas of evolution and survival of the fittest.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > English
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Green, Michael Douglas
Pagination:iv, 122 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:English
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ketterer, David
ID Code:1011
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:16
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:18
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