ART AS ANARCHISM: POLITICAL AND SOCIAL DISSENT THROUGH PLAYWRITING IN URSULA K. LE GUIN’S THE DISPOSSESSED
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In my project I focus on the use of art by anarchists to challenge authority structures in Ursula K. Le Guin’s novel The Dispossessed. Basing her novel in the science fiction genre enabled Le Guin the freedom to create her own worlds while exploring whether an anarchist utopia can successfully operate without the interference of government and authoritative control. In order to determine the viability of an anarchist utopia, Le Guin created two planets with competing ideologies: the capitalist planet Urras and the revolutionary anarchist planet of Anarres. In addition to these planets, Le Guin explores anarchism through two main characters who identify as anarchists, Shevek and Tirin. They are both influenced by the nature of their chosen craft, with Shevek thinking within the rigid formalities of physics and Tirin exploring the world through the limitless potential of his art as a playwright. I argue that as a playwright Tirin is the anarchist of the novel and that the creativity of his art makes him the only character able to live outside the confines of government and social coercion. My project’s insights are significant because they establish that art and playwriting are the unregulated dissenting vehicles of anarchism in The Dispossessed.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
Copyright DateSeptember 2018
Anarchism, Ursula K Le Guin, Science Fiction, Art, Drama