Seminar paper from the year 2018 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, University of Würzburg (Neuphilologisches Institut), course: Science Fiction and Social Activism, language: English, abstract: This paper investigates if Octavia Butler's Kindred is fitting into the overall definition of science fiction and, if not, why and how she is exaggerating the genre and its limits. There are different approaches available to analyze this content. For example, one could work with a historical analysis of a genre, presented in Cuddon/ Preston. On the other hand, no investigation on history could prevent the paper from losing itself in trivialities of change. For this reason, I will choose a mixed approach, analyzing standard works, dictionaries, companions, and specialist books on different branches of the genre, to be able to summarize all parameters needed to form a profound definition. On the one hand, the paper will therefore work quantitatively in sense of finding as much evidence as possible for each and every parameter. On the other hand, I am going to work qualitatively in sense of investigating one special example (Kindred) regarding the overall contemplation. Although the paper could never reach representativeness, the selection of possible classifications and definitions is highly important, as they shape the paper's outcome and final conclusion. For this reason, writers from both sides of the ocean shall be taken into consideration, as they influenced the genre in a wide extent, for example in creating the progression of the »New Wave« and, therefore, might be important for the paper, too. Assuming that, the paper is going to deal with the genre itself, not authors in particular. A distinct theory is not needed, as the structure is set up to be a theoretical one, analyzing the content of a genre and hence works on theoretical constructs itself. Nevertheless, postmodernism will be of a great importance, which will be both introduced and explained in the following chapters. The paper will be organized in an introduction, presenting the topic, research question, and thesis. Next to that is chapter two, containing definitions, in which parameters from research are being listed to be able to set a definition. Chapter three changes to social criticism in SF and explores, why Kindred is social criticism in the first place, and investigates, if it fits into the definition found in chapter two. Part four will merge the two lines of action and set a new and overall definition. It will answer the research question, if and how Octavia Butler's Kindred is exaggerating the definition and verifies or falsifies the thesis.
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