Lee Skallerup Bessette deposited Re-Evaluating Suvin: Brown Girl in the Ring as Effective Magical Dystopia in the group LLC Canadian on MLA Commons 6 years ago
This paper will begin by looking at the historical theoretical relationship between science fiction and dystopia. It will then proceed to demonstrate how recent theorists have failed to adequately incorporate the practical changes authors have introduced to the genre, which includes the incorporation of aspects of magical realism. Brown Girl in the Ring will be shown to be an example of effective magical dystopia, while also being used to illustrate how the narrative challenges the former norms of the dystopian genre. Finally, this paper will argue that Suvin’s theory of cognitive estrangement must be re-evaluated – particularly in the dystopian genre – as a result of the normalization of the idea of the technological novum; that this normalization has necessarily led to the use of magic in the effective creation of dystopic universes; and that given this proper re-interpretation of Suvin’s theories, magical dystopias are revealed to provide opportunities for new theoretical applications of his concepts.