Ecocritical Survival through Psychological Defense Mechanisms in M.R. Carey's The Girl With All The Gifts

  • Ruzbeh Babaee Senior Lecturer, faculty of Modern Languages and Communication, University Putra Malaysia


M.R. Carey's The Girl with All the Gifts unveils a devastated Great Britain in which humans are beset by deadly monsters that threaten their very existence, making survival the story's central issue. This study examines the profound relationship between Melanie, a cannibalistic hungry, and Helen Justineau, her human teacher, through a psychoanalytic lens. This study will demonstrate how psychological defense mechanisms underpin their dependency upon one another as they struggle to survive. Psychological defense mechanisms are employed by the unconscious mind to manipulate, deny, or distort reality to defend oneself against anxiety. In Carey's novel, these psychological defense mechanisms create a mutual dependency between a human and a monster. This dependency ultimately transforms The Girl with All the Gifts into an optimistic example of ecocritical science fiction by allowing Miss Justineau and Melanie to survive through peaceful coexistence in world dominated by non-humans.