Surrendering the Self

The Posthuman World in Vandermeer's Annihilation


  • Sam Allen



In his novel Annihilation, author Jeff Vandermeer provides a science-fiction narrative on nature as an unstoppable and uncontrollable environment where plants, animals, humans, and the land exist as a collective and connected entity of interactions. The novel utilizes Lovecraftian horror elements of an uncontrollable nature, human contamination, and an unknowable future controlled by nonhuman forces to portray both a multispecies environment and the posthuman future. Read through a multispecies lens and framed by Donna Haraway’s Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, this essay is an analysis of how Annihilation’s setting—Area X—necessitates the removal of human-centered processes and the human concept of individualism for favor of a flourishing multispecies environment. Its analysis exemplifies the genre of science fiction as a method to expand the boundaries of our perceived human-centered world. The narrative and rhetorical structures utilized by Vandermeer in his representation of real-world environments and natural processes as uncanny horrors and an off-center reality accurately represent the unknown future beyond the human species.


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How to Cite

Allen, S. (2024). Surrendering the Self: The Posthuman World in Vandermeer’s Annihilation. Digital Literature Review, 11(1), 99–113.

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