American Radical Environmental Fiction: Deep Ecology and Eco-Defense in Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang, Paul Chadwick's Concrete: Think like a Mountain, and T.C. Boyle's A Friend of the Earth
Eren, Mustafa Eray
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The fictional works of American authors Edward Abbey, Paul Chadwick, and T.C. Boyle present a reaction principally to the depletion of the wilderness, destruction of the land, and other environmental ills. Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, Paul Chadwick’s Concrete: Think like a Mountain, and T.C. Boyle’s A Friend of the Earth reflect the significance of the protection of the natural world through the writers’ radical environmentalist characters who possess an ecocentric worldview which leads to an ecological self. They are in a process of increasing their Self-realization and are ready to defend the natural world in self-defense which evolves into eco-defense because any harm on nature means harm to their greater Self. Their concept of community encompasses all the living and nonliving entities on earth. The radical environmentalist movement, with its deep ecological ideas which they adhere to and act from accordingly, came into being as a result of disillusionment with the inability of mainstream environmentalism to offer long-lasting solutions to current environmental problems. The authors studied in this thesis all believe in some form of radical environmentalism, and created radical environmentalist characters who resort to actions that go beyond mainstream anthropocentric environmentalism. Monkeywrenching, a form of action used by radical environmentalists, targets only inanimate machines and tools which harm nature. This thesis attempts to explore the worldviews and activities of radical environmentalist characters created by Abbey, Chadwick, and Boyle in their attempt to create a better world. The characters they have created focus on the diversity and richness of different forms of interconnected life, and they seek to increase self-realization for all in their pursuit to reach an ultimate Self-realization which aims at the well-being and health of the planet as a counter to the characters of the megamachine, or current anthropocentrist system.