Narrative Time and Speculative Fiction: Reflection of Social Conditions in Temporal Implications

Soe Marlar Lwin


Speculative fiction, with elements of fantasy integral to narrative, has developed as a literary genre with some underlying postulates and textual strategies that challenge the boundaries of narrative realism. It is often examined as a search for the definition of human beings and their status in the universe and an impact of scientific and technological advances upon human beings. It is believed that the world view created by development of science and technology at a particular period influences the choices made for various narrative devices, such as point of view, narrative time sequence, plot structure, character and language in speculative fiction. This paper examines temporal implications of the plots in two speculative fiction novels, Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange (1972) and William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984), written in two different periods which are about ten years apart. Using Ricoeur’s (2002) distinction between episodic and configurational dimensions for the conception of time, the paper aims to uncover different ways of using narrative temporality in the configuration of plots in these two novels, and relate these differences to broader social conditions happening at the two respective stages in the postmodern age.
Key words: Narrative Time; Plot; Temporal Implications; Social Conditions, Speculative Fiction


Narrative Time; Plot; Temporal Implications; Social Conditions, Speculative Fiction


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