Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Andrew A. King
This study is interested in idealized expressions of political ideology in utopian science fiction literature written during the Cold War following World War II. Accordingly, a dramatistic analysis is presented regarding fourteen science fiction novels published between 1949 and 1959 which describes their thematic content with respect to consonant and contrasting moral/social/political positions and the influx of advancing technology. A description of the canonical works precedes this analysis. Subsequently, contemporary related studies are lightly analyzed for comparative and contextual considerations. Conclusions address the importance of rhetoric and performance in restoring the destabilized balance of power as an aftermath of violent struggle. With respect to mega themes, the presence of anxiety and the cathartic value of science fiction are discussed. The representative anecdote of "Trouble in Paradise" aptly describes the motif. Final analyses determine that the issue or problem of cultural lag predominates. Technology is racing into the future so rapidly that our culture cannot adjust quickly enough. Science fiction allows its readers to deal with expressions of the transcendental in a pluralistic society mired in problems of separation, legalism, discipline, and institutionalism.
Wilhite, Irvin Andreu, "Rhetorical Theory: Discourse Practices of Utopian Communities." (1999). LSU Historical Dissertations and Theses. 7060.