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Reflecting crisis, instilling fear the apocalyptic rhetoric of climate change literature

by Lewis, Daniel Ford

Abstract

Many general connections have been made between apocalyptic language and the rhetoric of crisis in climate change discourse. However, this study aims to thoroughly examine the rhetorical and narrative elements shared by both the historically religious apocalyptic genre and contemporary climate literature. These elements are generally grouped within the temporal structure and narrative of human destiny, the claims to authoritative knowledge and power, and the identification of evil opposed to the righteous cause. When employed, these themes of apocalyptic discourse individually and collectively convey a sense of crisis of the certain impending catastrophe of authoritative power over the cause of evil in the world. Therefore, this paper argues that through the apocalyptic topoi of time, authority, and evil, the books An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, Eaarth by Bill McKibben, and the novel Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood exemplify the employment of apocalyptic rhetoric in climate literature, which works to both reflect and intensify a perceived sense of crisis surrounding the issue of climate change.

Note

Title self-submitted as: Reflecting crisis, instilling fear : the apocalyptic rhetoric of climate change literature

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Includes bibliographical references.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Administrative Notes

Title self-submitted as: Reflecting crisis, instilling fear : the apocalyptic rhetoric of climate change literature

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College
PID
coccc:9867
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
41 pages
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Weddle, David
Department/Program
Religion
Degree Name
bachelor
Degree Type
B.A.
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued
2014-05