The genre of dystopian novels has long been theorized from a historical materialist lens. Utopian longing, which is the didactic focus of dystopian texts, functions as much from emotion as cogniti The genre of dystopian novels has long been theorized from a historical materialist lens. Utopian longing, which is the didactic focus of dystopian texts, functions as much from emotion as cognition. Historical materialist readings tend to undervalue emotion in tracing a character’s shifting relationship to the dystopian sociopolitical landscape that the character finds him or herself in. Using three dystopian novels, Stand on Zanzibar (1968), We Who Are About To… (1977) and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, this paper outlines recent theory of emotion in sociology, psychology and cultural studies in order to argue for the importance of attending to emotion in interpreting the relationship between characters and their sociopolitical context.on.
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