July 19, 2018
Cyrus Amiri

Cyrus Amiri

Academic rank: Assistant professor
Address: English Department / Faculty of Forign Languages and Literatures / Sanandaj 66177-15175 / Iran.
Education: PhD. in English Language and Literature
Faculty: Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages


Levinas’s Post-Structural Subjectivity and Humanism of the Other in Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam Trilogy
Type Thesis
The Other, the Face, Subject, Trauma, Responsibility, Apocalypse, Humanism of the Other, Levinas’s Ethics, Margaret Atwood
Researchers Negar Monfared Saeed، Zakarya Bezdoode، Cyrus Amiri


This dissertation seeks to illuminate Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam trilogy by taking Emmanuel Levinas’s ‘ethics’ into consideration and fosters debate on its key terms including the Other, subject, the face, trauma, and responsibility. Atwood’s trilogy consists of Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013) which have been thoroughly investigated to validate that both Atwood and Levinas demand to establish alternative forms to end a dystopian world. Atwood with an apocalypse and Levinas through ‘humanism of the other’ strive to establish a utopia filled with responsible subjects. The purpose of this dissertation is to explicate to what extent the characters in the novels are considered to be Levinasian responsible subjects and it is clarified that Levinasian subject is a responsible one whose self is split due to the presence of the Other. This state of subjectivity is traumatic since he/she becomes awake to respond to the Other’s call. The apocalyptic trauma parallels with a traumatic essence of subjectivity and traumatic childhood that contribute to the post-apocalyptic insomnia. This traumatic state of being awake stems from the Other’s face which is widely considered to be the most significant and perplexed issues of Levinas’s ethics. A command lies at the heart of the face that is ‘thou shall not kill’ the other. This dissertation presents a comprehensive account of Levinas’s concept of the Other in the various forms before and after apocalypse. It includes ‘intersubjective relations,’ ‘death and future as the other,’ the role of the ‘feminine alterity’ with regard to a new generation after apocalypse, ‘paternal and fraternal’ encounter of self and the other with reference to the characters’ childhood memories which propels the majority of the novels.