This thesis examines Darren Aronofsky's 2014 film Noah as a pattern for metafictionalizing narratives into thinking stories as we confront the uncertainty and challenges of the Anthropocene. While Ecocriticism has sought for the development and promotion of nature writing and environmentally oriented poetry and fiction- "new stories" that will shape a stronger environmental ethic"”it has placed too much responsibility for the environmental imagination on what we read rather than on the more important question of how we read. My argument addresses the readerly responsibilities that, if met, have the power to transform old stories and old habits of mind into environmentally relevant attitudes and behaviors. The search for new stories, in other words, although important, has tended to understate the responsibility of the reader to make stories new and to read them as cosmologies that pertain to our contemporary situation. What is needed are new ways to read and engage with stories, new reading methods to metaphorize narratives themselves, making them metafictional even when they are not. Now, in an age of climate change and environmental degradation, it is time for us to think about stories in relation to our role as protagonists in the story of the earth, imagining new possibilities and actively accepting our role of writing our story anew. I hope to demonstrate that this type of aggressive reading of even popular culture (often regarded as mainstream, or "œthoughtless" stories) can mine the necessary insights to reexamine humanity's relationship with the earth and its inhabitants.



College and Department

Humanities; Comparative Arts and Letters



Date Submitted


Document Type





Ecocriticism, environmental humanities, Ecotheology, Anthropocene, climate change, Darren Aronofsky, Noah, metafiction, imagination, storytelling, cosmology