Rebuilding The New World: An Ecocriticism Study on Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood

Rebuilding The New World: An Ecocriticism Study on Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood; Shinta Dewi Mellyawesti; 40 pages; English Department, Faculty of Humanities, Jember University.

This research analyzes an ecocriticism study in Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. The Year of the Flood is a novel which tells about saving the earth from the greedy human. This research intends to get the deeper understanding about the relationship between human and non-human using ecocriticism concept by Garrard. Human, nature and animal are the living thing which supposed to live side by side and support the other existence. Even though nature do not need human, but basically all of living thing is created with their own function and purpose, so does with technology and science. They created to help human to make miraculous discovery, but some of the human are abuse it and it convoked a disaster. Atwood is an environmental activist, she writes about the probable future disaster that might happen in the future if the humans do not change their attitude towards nature. The things that are put in the novel are not much different with the reality, so she makes a biological catastrophe called The Waterless Flood to destroy the human beings along with their artificial creations to start over the new life. Based on the description above, the ecoriticism theory based on Greg Garrard’s perspective is appropriate to apply in this research.

This research is a qualitative research. It means that the data are in the form of sentences or words. The primary data are the conversation, dialogues, facts and events taken from the novel, related to the environmental degradation. The secondary data are taken from books, journals and internet. The animals torture and human evilness towards nature lead to the first analysis through Garrard’s animals concept. In the process of apocalypse, whether the human deserves to get a punishment for their evilness leads to the second analysis through apocalypse concept based on Garrard’s perspective. The next step is analyzing the apocalypse concept that leads to the future, the new world. Future is a place where we hang our best hopes and good things, so did with the earth. The earth also wants to get a better life for itself by forgiving all of the destruction which is caused by the human.

Hence, this research concludes that the relationship between human and non-human must be balanced. Technology and science is an extraordinary progress in human life and they can make miraculous discovery from it. But, there is a boundary where human should not passing through it. Therefore, by the means of technology and science, the probable future disaster is not impossible due to exploitation by humans towards nature. Since the scientists misstreated their ability for evil purpose. As an environmentalist, Atwood agrees that to save the earth, the greedy human must be abolished first, given that the root causes of the destruction of the earth is the human. Because they have complete weapons; they are intelligence, brain, lust, and desire.




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