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Title page for ETD etd-11202015-130325

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Korsnack, Kylie Jo
Author's Email Address kylie.j.korsnack@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-11202015-130325
Title Globalization, Postmodernity, and the Bildungsroman: Tracing Narratives of Development in Three Versions of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” Story
Degree Master of Arts
Department English
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Scott Juengel Committee Chair
Mark Wollaeger Committee Member
  • Science Fiction
  • Bildungsroman
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Postmodernism
Date of Defense 2015-06-15
Availability unrestricted
This thesis traces the history of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” story across three iterations and three decades of world development—the “Enders Game” novella (1977), the Ender’s Game novel (1985) and the subsequent “parallax” version, Ender’s Shadow (1999)—to consider what happens to the form after modernism’s dissipation and question whether or not the contemporary Bildungsroman still serves the historico-philsophical function of its 19th-mid-20th century precursors. By analyzing of three parallel narratives of development through Card’s literary work—that of Ender Wiggin, that of the Ender’s Game narrative, and that of the Bildungsroman genre—this essay extends and modifies the work of Franco Moretti and Jed Esty by demonstrating how the Bildungsroman reacts as the global economy transitions from monopoly capitalism to multinationalism. Taken together, Card’s three narratives tell the developmental story of the genre itself and culminate with Ender’s Shadow, a newly figured Bildungsroman that appears within the realm of science fiction and emerges as a formal response to the Young Adult novel of the postmodern era. As such, Ender’s Shadow exposes the negative effects of late capitalism while at the same time offering a narrative of alterity.
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