Saturday, April 9, 2011

Final Proposal: Revolution (Again)

I'm revising my most recent revision, Revolution as a Cycle.

The argument I'm proposing to make is that Revolution is to be understood as a cyclical process. I'm going to make this argument through examples and explanation of a utopian/dystopian view of society, using Butler's universe and Thomas and Surtz' Utopia to explain the definition of utopian society and how it fits into the revolution model. This should be important to readers in that it provides a way to view the political climate of the world with a more calm lens; understanding the current political climate as part of a cycle allows for the minimization of heavy, reasonless emotional politics.

Marcuse's role in my essay is as an example and a mode of approaching social criticism; his book is a criticism of society, which will become an example as a part of the revolution process. He also has several points about the usefulness of social criticism, which will support this point also.

I plan to keep most of my points content-wise, but start with a completely blank slate. Obviously I'll keep my explanation of revolution and the process of revolution, as well as Butler's universe as an example. I plan to change the focus slightly in order to be more specific with defining revolution, exploring the concept of utopia as part of a cycle, and including a few historical examples of revolutions that apply to my point.

Cutner, Alfred B. "The Cycle of Revolution." New Republic20.250: 86-88.
(Provides a take on Revolution as a cyclical process, to give me baseline material in explaining my argument.)

More, Thomas, and Edward Surtz. Utopia. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univ., 1976. Print.
(Provides a working explanation of utopia, allowing me to further discuss utopia as part of the revolution cycle.)

Baron, Robert A., Donn Erwin. Byrne, and Nyla R. Branscombe. Mastering Social Psychology. Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon, 2007. Print.
(Provides definitions and explanations for aspects of group dynamics.)

Butler, Octavia E. Parable of the Sower. New York: Warner, 2000. Print.

(Provides examples of utopian, dystopian, and revolutionary societies.)

Marcuse, Herbert. One-dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston: Beacon, 1991.

(Provides social criticism, creates an example of the part of the revolution process whereby authority and structure is questioned.)

Ritzer, George. Encyclopedia of Social Theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2005.

(Provides social definitions and a working model of social groups.)


  1. Have you ever read Edgar Allen Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum"? Cyclical revolution is deeply and weirdly embedded within it, although you need to pay attention to see it.

    Anyway, I trust your judgment, and I obviously found a lot to like in the earlier drafts. Nonetheless, as proposal I found this pretty threadbare. You see yourself as reimagining the earlier drafts, and as using them - I'm not at all clear on what you see as being the same and what you see as being different. I'm unclear, in other words, about what your goal is, not in general, but for *this* revision.

  2. I think this is a little vague, but other than that it sounds really interesting! I think its refreshing to look at what we're reading from a different view than just the literary one. I had never considered the cyclic nature of revolutions, and I would really like to read more aobut it. You said in the beginning that you were going to talk about a utopian/dystopian societies, what exactly will your argument be concerning utopias? Not having read your original essay, I'm not sure if you answer that question! Overall, I think with a little more planning it will be really interesting!