This is Not the Apocalypse: Dissecting the End of the World, Sincerity, and the Canadian Zeitgeist in Two Novels by Douglas Coupland

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Creator: 

Bayrock, Melissa

Date: 

2016

Abstract: 

This thesis discusses the crossroads of Douglas Coupland, apocalyptic narratives, and Canadian literature, using two novels—Girlfriend in a Coma and Generation A—as focal points. Coupland subverts the traditional framework of end-of-the-world narratives in many ways—rewinding it entirely in Girlfriend in a Coma, for example. Likewise, the end of the world fails to bring catastrophic change, instead revealing catastrophic change has already taken place. This apocalyptic devastation takes the form of an absence in contemporary life, identified as a lack of sincerity in Girlfriend in a Coma and as a sense of storylessness in Generation A. The identification of this absence elevates Coupland’s protagonists and identifies them as the elect; however, despite their ensured survival of the apocalypse, the traditional or implicit promise of utopia is never fulfilled. This thesis discusses how this subversion of the apocalyptic framework serves—or fails—a contemporary, postmodern, and/or Canadian audience.

Subject: 

Literature - Canadian (English)

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 
M.A.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

English

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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