Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (931.64 kB)

We were not designed to ask questions: the owned female body in posthuman young adult literature

Download (931.64 kB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 23:15 authored by Hannah Andrews
This thesis investigates how the subjective agency of posthuman female characters within young adult fiction is influenced by the knowledge that they are owned by someone or something else. It focuses on five young adult novels with posthuman themes: Eva by Peter Dickinson, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna, Starters by Lissa Price, and Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill. This thesis employs a theoretical framework that draws on posthumanism, feminism, children's literature criticism and girlhood studies. It investigates the ways in which these owned young women utilise their subjugated bodies as forms of rebellion, by employing performativity and in the act of escape. It also suggests that the repression of these young women foreshadows a new kind of exploitation in which thinking and feeling posthumans are denied the right to agency and identity. Ultimately, this thesis concludes that these texts fail to uphold the feminist outlooks they purport to endorse. Instead, they perpetuate patriarchal power structures that exist in the real world. Given young adult fiction's socialising ideological agenda, this thesis suggests that these texts ultimately reinforce dominant social power dynamics and reinscribe patriarchal power structures that teenage readers experience in their own lives


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Toward an integrated theoretical framework -- The owned body -- Performativity as resistance, performativity as survival -- Reclaiming the own body -- Conclusion.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 67-70

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of English

Department, Centre or School

Department of English

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Victoria Flanagan


Copyright Hannah Andrews 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (70 pages)

Former Identifiers