Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lashea Stuart


Dystopian literature, in which writers imagine a chaotic, uncertain future, has become a trend in contemporary literature. Three recent British dystopian texts--Alan Moore and David Lloyd's graphic novel V for Vendetta , Patrick Ness's young adult novel The Knife of Never Letting Go , and China Miéville's detective novel The City & the City --reveal important themes of dystopian literature that transcend genre and stylistic convention. When a totalitarian regime governs the people, language and religion become commodities used by both government and citizens. First, I will explain the role of naming in establishing identity of both governing bodies and individual citizens. Next, I will explore how language and religion are used to oppress citizens and, finally, how those citizens recognize corruption and reclaim language through Bakhtin's notion of heteroglossia, an intermingling of language that allows one to escape the false consciousness bestowed by the totalitarian regime.