Date of Award
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationships between humans and their environments in Jeff VanderMeer’s The Southern Reach series. VanderMeer, throughout the trilogy, uses the horror aesthetics of the New Weird genre to break down the barriers between human and nonhuman, natural and unnatural. By showing the characters as more aware of their status as human and the agency of the natural world around them as a result of the novels’ plot, The Southern Reach forces characters and readers alike to confront a world in which becoming something more than human might be possible and even necessary for survival. I argue that VanderMeer’s use of this posthumanist rhetoric in his novels makes for a larger commentary around environmentalism, the status of the “human,” and environmentalism in our own world today.
Mundy, Morgan, "Nothing Monstrous Existed Here: Uncanny Nature in The Southern Reach Trilogy" (2019). Honors Theses. 1103.