A literary exploration of the second ‘’Ecological Conscience’’, 1960s – 1970s
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AbstractThis thesis explores how literature during the 1960s and 1970s helped to develop a postmodern or second-wave ‘’ecological conscience’’, and how these new modes of ecological meditation were represented in three essential texts. Silent Spring, Desert Solitaire, and Turtle Island are all milestones of a new, ‘radical’ environmentalism that awakened the public to the ongoing global environmental crisis. Although environmental concerns attracted significant criticism at the time, ‘ecocriticism’ provides the project’s theoretical basis for advocating literature’s importance in enlightening and reconnecting an ecologically unconscious audience to the natural world. These writers search for innovative societal models capable of establishing an updated ecological conscience, displacing the anthropocentric mindset that inhibits both humans and non-humans. Through prose and poetry, this collection investigates the collective ecological conscience during this era, and the authors’ critical roles in the healing of a postmodern ecology rather than the Romantic restoring of a lost, organic world. After much deliberation on the environmental impacts induced by modern industrial societies, a variety of expressions are brought together to articulate how society must learn to embrace the unexplainable and unrepresentable aspects of nature, and how literature can serve as a guideline towards a renewed and ecologically sensitive lifestyle on Earth.
CitationHolton, T. (2017) ‘A literary exploration of the second ‘’Ecological Conscience’’, 1960s – 1970s’. Master of Arts by research thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
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