Humanities, Classics, and Comparative Literature
First Faculty Advisor
First Faculty Reader
Ecology, Ecocriticism, Experimental Media, Formal Analysis
This thesis responds to the claim that traditional literary forms and narrative structures have contributed to the global climate crisis by perpetuating anthropocentric viewpoints and reinforcing the modern fixation on progress in industrial cultures. Ecocritics argue that by creating an unrealistic separation between humans and their environment in their narratives, artists are allowing the ecologies and spaces which create a cohesive world to become a mere setting for the social or psychological human drama rather than serving as an integral part of the narrative. With these criticisms in mind, this thesis provides an analysis of three pieces of traditional and modern media—The Overstory (a novel), Still Life (a film), and The Witness (a video game)—in an attempt to find ways in which media, rather than perpetuating this sense of separation between the human and the natural world, can use new and experimental methods to encourage those engaging with the media to be mindful of the ways in which they are linked with those non-human entities which share their physical space. Of specific interest is the use of sensory language, spatial logic (directing the attention of the reader toward systems and connections in the larger spaces of the world rather than only focusing on the cause and effect in social aspects of narrative), non-linearity, and the blending of foreground and background within these works which bring space and ecology into focus alongside the typical human dramas of conflict and progress to emphasize the inseparable connection between the human and their environment.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Reese, Jacob, "Connected: A Return to Ecological Awareness in Traditional and Modern Media" (2021). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 188.