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Humanities 2019, 8(1), 38;

Spatial and Psychophysical Domination of Women in Dystopia: Swastika Night, Woman on the Edge of Time and The Handmaid’s Tale

HISTOPIA Research Group, Autonomous University of Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 26 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Negotiating Spaces in Women’s Writing)
PDF [258 KB, uploaded 26 February 2019]


Analyzing Burdekin’s Swastika Night Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time and Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale the article aims to examine the relations between space, gender-based violence, and patriarchy in women’s writing. Hitlerdom in Swastika Night, the mental hospital and the future dystopian New York in Woman on the Edge of Time, and Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale are spatial and social nightmares. The authorities that rule these dystopias imprison women in restricted spaces first, limit their vocabulary and daily actions, deprive them of their beauty, freedom and consciousness, and impose maternity or sexuality upon them. My analysis will connect the limitation of space with the psychophysical domination the objectification and the disempowerment of the female gender. Hoping also to shed light on the dynamics and the reasons for contemporary real gender-based violence and depreciation, the study will be focused on: 1. the ways space contributes to the creation, the stability and the dominion of dystopian powers; 2. the representation and the construction of female figures, roles and identities; 3. the techniques of control, manipulation and oppression used by patriarchal powers against women; 4. the impact of sex, sexuality and motherhood on women’s bodies; and 5. the possible feminist alternatives or solutions proposed by the novels. View Full-Text
Keywords: dystopia; space; patriarchy; gender-based violence; sexuality dystopia; space; patriarchy; gender-based violence; sexuality
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Minico, E.D. Spatial and Psychophysical Domination of Women in Dystopia: Swastika Night, Woman on the Edge of Time and The Handmaid’s Tale. Humanities 2019, 8, 38.

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