post human

All posts tagged post human

The human condition has come a long way, and even today we thrive on the concept of going further. Within the world of dystopian fiction, the definition of “human” is often the point of contrast. In a society, there are multiple pillars that support the foundation of progress, and improvements placed on infrastructure, transportation, and communication have made our surroundings ever-changing. Swarmed with so much external innovation, the aim eventually turns to the refinement of human nature. Altering the human form is current and optimistic, however in many dystopian texts these modifications lead to a disastrous world that is no longer human, but “post human”.

Feed by M.T. Anderson

The novel Feed by MT Anderson takes place in future America. The world has gotten a little bit bigger, even adding a few planets to our diplomatic roster. Much innovation has occurred, yet so has much destruction. The latter is not discussed much, but we are given a clear picture of humanity, and it’s not what one would expect. The human population have acquired brain implants that allow them to access “The Feed” which connects the user to everything they could possible want or need. This becomes an artificial addition to the human body; however, technology is not the only alteration present. Due to the radiation exposure presented on Earth, adults striving to be parents must resort to genetic engineering. The book does not confirm how long radiation contact has been an issue, but Feed presents a new human race that can no longer produce children on their own. This alteration of genes also births the institution of cloning which appears specifically in the form of Abraham Lincoln by the main character’s best friend, Link. Even the main character, Titus, was modeled after his parent’s favorite male film star. Partnered with human infertility are the outward signs of Earth’s dire conditions. The hazardous effects of the environment appear in the form of throbbing lesions on the body. This is normal. In fact, lesions become so prevalent among the human population that they are even made into a fashion statement, with girls getting fake lesions or wishing for more. Humanity is almost unrecognizable. (Anderson, Feed)

When tackling the concept of dystopian post humanism, it’s easy to conjure up just the technological and scientific alterations of man, however it extends beyond that. Dystopias illustrates humanity that is very different than what we see it as now, and it often aids in the many sufferable conditions of the dystopian world. It seems that there is a limit placed on the human condition, and the distance of human exploration. While not all dystopian societies have the physical exaggerations like Feed, the majority presents humanity in new distorted shades. I’m interested in investigating the post human specimen, and how dystopias establish new constructs of the human race.


Work Cited:

Anderson, Matthew. Feed. Candlewick Press, 2002.