Date of Award

5-1-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

English

First Advisor

Dr. Susan P. Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Viktor O. Osinubi

Abstract

This study examines the prototypical female leader as constructed by Octavia Butler in her science fiction novels, Dawn and Fledgling. The premise of the study relates to the protagonists’ capacity to undergo arduous tasks in extraordinary circumstances so that they can ultimately lead their people into a revolutionized society. Overcoming enormous obstacles, including the rejection of the very people they must lead, proves that both protagonists, Lilith Ilypo, in Dawn, and Shori Matthews, in Fledgling, are the women of the future, created to lead human beings into a “brave new world.”

The study further examines Butler’s portrayal of the “othemesses” that continue to plague societies, despite the societies’ “higher” evolution, and concludes that only through continuous compromise will the world become unified. Butler indicates that the onerous task of achieving this ultimate unification lies on the shoulders of women who will serve as, what I term, the future’s “female Adams.”