This course will focus on great modern dystopian novels, two of them required reading and the third recommended for super readers. The Wanting Seed, by Anthony Burgess, and the The Handmaid’s Tale,by Margaret Atwood will be the main focus of discussions the first five weeks. On the sixth week, Dr. Brown will comment on Riddley Walker, by Russel Hoban, as well as more familiar classics such as1984 and Brave New World. Each novel describes a possible future in which current social, political, ecological, and nuclear debates are taken to their extremes to create societies that are simultaneously plausible, ridiculous and tragic. Characters typifying a range of human strengths and weaknesses, struggle to survive or to find some dignity and meaning in life, with consequences that will make you laugh, cry, cringe and think differently about the society you live in right now.
Required reading: The Wanting Seed and The Handmaid’s Tale. Optional reading: Riddley Walker.