Paper Title
The Mental Hospital as the Control Agency and the Mirror of a Tyrannical Society in Woman on the Edge of the Time

Main stream of criticisms on Woman on the Edge of Time by Piercy have examined the novel in terms of feminism: they find in this novel the criticism of the oppression of females by the male-oriented society as well as a “new definition of motherhood”. This novel, however, is basically “an explicit critique of hierarchical cultures” which dominate and control socially marginal beings. To suggest the tyrannical nature of the hierarchical cultures, Piercy introduces Luciente, a time traveller from the future, who takes Connie, the protagonist of the novel, forward in time to two future societies. One of the future societies is the hierarchical society where the riches control the people through their agents such as super-cops, SD men, and Assassins, as well as various kinds of drugs which give the illusion of euphoria. This dystopian society of the future, however, is an escalation of the world Connie currently inhabits. That is, the future dystopia mirrors the present world whose control over the people is epitomized by the mental hospital in which Connie is incarcerated. Therefore, there are many striking similarities and parallels, in terms of methods and purposes, between the mental hospital and the Complex of the future dystopian society as the control agency of the ruling classes of each society. Hence Connie who, through the visit to the future dystopian society, realizes the tyranny of the present world epitomized by the mental hospital, determines to fight against the mental doctors who, on behalf of the ruling class, control the inmates of the hospital, because fight, she believes, is the only way to change the present world which might become the dystopian world. Index Terms - Dystopian Society, Hierarchical Cultures, Marginal Beings, Mental Hospital, Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time