The Dystopian Fiction Of Octavia Butler

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Societies have risen, prospered, and fallen from the beginning of human existence through the present day. Something we may ask ourselves is what seeds in society lead to its peaceful prosperity and what seeds in society lead to its destructive collapse? While it may seem daunting or overwhelming to dissect the success or collapse of a multi-faceted society, there are lenses and tools through which we are able to do so, such as political theory and speculative dystopian fiction. By using lenses to analyze the society in which we live, we are able to recognize seeds of both prosperity and destruction in our society that may otherwise be overlooked or ignored. The speculative dystopian fiction of Octavia Butler may be considered as building upon the political theory of the tragedy of the commons. Butler provides her American audience an analysis of the root causes of a commons’ collapse, as well as some possible solutions to preventing its collapse in order to warn her readers against ignoring current trends in our society which could lead to our tragedy of the commons. Octavia Butler was an American author of speculative dystopian fiction, and was the first science fiction novelist to be awarded the MacArthur Fellowship in 1955. She was born in California on June 22, 1947 and died in Washington on January 24, 2006. Butler was well-known for critiquing social hierarchies and inequalities as well as for exploring what forms a healthy, sustainable community. Her first novel in
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