Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis




Caroline Bicks

Committee Members

Hollie Adams, Carla Billitteri, Ed Nadeau, Elizabeth Neiman

Graduation Year

May 2022

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


Writers have used the genre of feminist speculative fiction as a lens through which to view modern issues which effect women. Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Margaret Atwood’ Handmaid’s Tale, and Naomi Alderman’s The Power each explore dystopian or transitory dystopian societies in which women are pitted against one another for the sake of their survival. In reviewing the relationships which the women in these novels have to each other we stand to gain insights into the ways in which sisterhood influences change in these societies. Each of these works, while centering around different understandings of dystopian society, also prominently feature the ways in which women’s individual relationships with each other are changed or influenced by these societies. The unique ability for these authors to not only reflect patriarchal societies and values, but also the relationships which are strained or created by the exacerbation of violent patriarchal societies, creates an avenue of exploration into the ways women interact within the context of the real world. The work of this thesis centers around the analysis and understanding of these relationships, and the importance which the representation of women’s relationships in dystopian fiction has in relation to the genre as a whole.