“They’ve damaged your uniqueness”: Technology as a Source of Dystopia in Caryl Churchill’s A Number
This study focuses on the impact of technology on creating a dystopian world as presented by the English playwright Caryl Churchill in her play A Number (2002). This dramatic work came as a reaction to the most crucial and valuable turning point in the scientific achievements of human engineering, namely, the cloning of the sheep called Dolly. Therefore, A Number is a play that presents an analytical stage for imagining the biotechnological and scientific future. This dramatic vignette captures the playwright’s fears towards the abnormal progress of technology and science and how far such technological progress affects human relationships and identity. It also portrays how technological progress results in the feeling of a lack of ‘uniqueness’ and potential psychological problems. It shows that biotechnological attempts at human cloning are the heights of science irresponsibility. Human beings desire to have children, but there are limits to this desire. It should not include whatever kind of technology is available to meet such desires. The playwright, through her dramatic characters Salter, B1, B2 and Michael Black, draws a ‘near’ futuristic world in which the misuse of technology raises ethical, scientific, medical and legal
File. (p. 135-138).
Brandon, James M.(2005). ‘Performance Review: A Number’. Theatre Journal 58(3),
502-504. Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved July 24, 2018, from Project
Campos , Liliane. (2012). “Any number is a shock’: Figuring humanity in Caryl
Churchill’s A Number”. Revue Coup de Théâtre , 26, pp.27-41.
Churchill, Caryl. (2008) Plays: Four. London: Nick Hern Books.
Demerjian, Louisa MacKay . (2016 ) . The Age of Dystopia: One Genre, Our Fears and
Our Future. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Gilgoff, Dan (2009). “Did Obama Open the Door to Human Cloning With His Stem
Cell Order?”. US News & World Report.
(URL:https://www.usnews.com/news/religion/articles/2009/03/24/did-obama-open-the door-to-human-cloning-with-his-stem-cell-order) accessed August, 2018.
Gobert, R. Darren. (2014). The Theatre of Caryl Churchill: Critical Companions.
London: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama.
Gottlieb, Erika. (2011). Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial
Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP.
Joy, Bill.. (2000). “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us”. Wired Magazine 8.04 April.
(URL: https://www.wired.com/2000/04/joy-2) accessed August, 2018.
Kellner, D. (1964). “Introduction”. In H. Marcuse (Ed.), One-Dimensional Man: Studies
in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. Boston, MA: Beacon Press
Kritzer, Amelia Howe. (1989). “Theatricality and empowerment in the plays of Caryl
Churchill”. Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, 4(1), 125-131.
Lyall, Sarah. (2004). “The Mysteries of Caryl Churchill”. In The New York Times,
Mahadi, Amina Hasseeb. (2015). Technology and Domination: A Study in Selected
Novels. Unpublished master's thesis). University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq.
Miller, M. (2000). For cloning pioneer, biotechnology holds promise of medical gains. In
L. Messina (Ed.), Vol. 72, No. 4 Biotechnology. (pp. 93-96). New York: H.W.
Rees, Martin. (2003). Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and
Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century - On
Earth and Beyond. New York: Basic Books.
Roch, Mark William. (2004). Why Literature Matters in the 21st Century. New
Haven: Yale University Press.
Rothenberg , Karen H. and Lynn Wein Bush (2014). The Drama of DND: Narrative
Genomics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Shuhua, L. (2007). “The Night of Midautumn Festival”. In J. S. M. Lau & H. Goldblatt
(Eds.), The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature . New York, NY:
Columbia University Press.
Vangölü, Yeliz Biber( 2017). “Revisiting the Dystopian Visions in Not Not Not Not Not
Enough Oxygen by Caryl Churchill”. Journal of Faculty of Letters. Jun2017,
Vol. 34 Issue 1, p195-203.
Wendling, Amy E. (2009). Karl Marx on Technology and Alienation. New York: