Behind Bars – Thomas Örn Karlsson

“Do Time Now, Buy Time for Future”: Phallic Deception and Techno- Sexual Agency in Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last

Rano Ringo
Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar

Jasmine Sharma
Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar

Abstract | This article investigates the politics of deception in Margaret Atwood’s novel The Heart Goes Last (2015). It critiques techno-science from a feminist viewpoint. The two main female characters of the novel, Jocelyn and Charmaine, dismantle the technocratic scandal and expose the underlying reality of the situation in which they find themselves. They pose a threat to the phallic dominance, orchestrated and practiced by those in power. The article discusses the manipulation of technology and its effects on the central women characters. It unravels the latent forces of resistance in Atwood’s dystopia and unmasks the politics of pretentiousness within its speculative structure. This feminist reading is buttressed by the works of Science and Technology theorists like Donna Haraway and Sandra Harding and theorists on “nomad feminism” like Rosi Braidotti. Philosophies of Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari enlighten the argument with critical insights on the discourses of power and hegemony within technocracy.

Keywords | Science Fiction; feminist; techno-science; technology; deception.