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TRANSHUMANISM AND SENTIMENTALISM IN LOIS LOWRY`S THE GIVER

Lachezar Popov, Diana Dimitrova

Abstract

The article explores an aspect of American writer Lois Lowry`s award-winning adolescent novel The Giver (1993) that has not been sufficiently examined in criticism, namely, the author`s stance toward the general enthusiasm among scientists and politicians about the possibilities opened by the latest advances in science and technology to perfect human societies and improve the individual subject`s experience of life. Presenting the failure of a utopian project based on all-pervading social control and, on the other hand, biotechnology, the novel offers a cautionary tale against the dangers stemming from instrumental, soulless biopolitics. Lowry believes that public order and epidemiological control promoted by technocrats can give us physical safety, but can take a toll on our emotional health and intellectual development. As an alternative to the technocratic utopia Lois Lowry`s novel proposes social spaces organized on the basis of sentiment as the most natural political arrangement that guarantees human happiness and the fulfilment of human potential.

Keywords

contemporary American literature, biopolitics, biotechnology

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