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What does Genesis reveal about citizenship?

March 31, 2011

Genesis - Bernard Beckett

Part of what I see happening in Beckett’s Genesis is a dispute over citizenship and the right to power.

First, there’s the isolation of the Republic and Adam’s job as sentry to the border of a closed nation…. Then the androids take over, it seems, but not until after Adam, as representative of man, proves downright unaccepting of Art.  He will not accept Art’s differences or acknowledge his similarities.  Art does challenge Adam each time he asserts that Art is different and somehow ‘less than’ himself, but….

As discussions go, the ones between Adam and Art are certainly representative of the times. What I like about it is the way the reader is invited to empathise with the ‘Other’, Anaxamander, because we don’t know that’s what she is. Great narrative structure if you ask me.

Me, with my incomplete referencing again… but I do like this phrase: “a stream of potential political identities that represent the numerous possibilities within the seemingly singular designation of ‘citizen.’”[1]

What is the process of citizen-making?

What civic identities are broadly included in the political ideal?

What is the relationship between citizenship and power?

What of the child-citizen, the gay youth etc (ie different citizenships)?

[1] P216 Weile-Mills, C.A. (2008). “The child as (potential) citizen (review).” Children’s Literature 36: 214-219

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