Look out at your children: the superchild motif in British scientific romance

Baker, Kevin Andrew (2020). Look out at your children: the superchild motif in British scientific romance. University of Birmingham. M.A.

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Like the related figure of the superman, the superchild motif is found throughout the history of science fiction and scientific romance. As a ‘superior’ figure, the superchild destabilises age categories and subverts ideas of normative childhood. Works containing the motif draw on ideas of regeneration and transcendence to present children as the next stage in human evolution, or sometimes as aggressive successor species. The main aim of this dissertation is to find the commonalities between seemingly disparate portrayals of the superchild motif. I will first look at the motif’s roots in evolutionary theory and the Edwardian cult of childhood, and will then trace its development by British writers of scientific romance throughout the first half of the twentieth century, looking at works by H.G. Wells, J.D Beresford, Olaf Stapledon, Arthur C. Clarke, and John Wyndham. I will conclude by considering the superchild motif in the separate tradition of American pulp fiction

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Butchard, DorothyD.Butchard@bham.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10075


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