AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 5, Number3.  August  2021                                Pp.55.-69

Coronavirus Apocalypse: A Representation of Despair and Resilience

Department of European Languages and Literature
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
King Abdulaziz University
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


This paper explores Mathias Besong’s My Struggle with COVID-19 (2020), Nikita Gill’s Love in the Time of Coronavirus (2020), and Elizabeth Mitchell’s The Doctor and Apocalypse (2020) and focusses on how these poems illustrate authors’ reactions to the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, it engages genre theory and argues that the examined verse adopts features and themes of post-apocalyptic literature. The research employs a comparative approach that divides the poems into three categories: the poetry of despair, the poetry of hope, and the ambivalent poetry that depicts responses to the pandemic inconsistently. The study shows that the explored poems express contradictions between social distancing, physical isolation, and global connectedness and oneness. This paper scrutinizes the concept of survival and examines features of coronavirus survivors as significant elements in the explored genre. The research debates that human reactions to distress are universal. It also draws attention to the effectiveness of writing poetry to aspire to hope, achieve global human solidarity, and challenge fear and hardships. The research demonstrates the social impacts of Covid-19 and how poetry becomes a means that expresses fear and hope through its employment of post-apocalyptic conventions and tropes. Finally, the researcher suggests that the examined poets depict their anxieties and psychological distress; however, they overlook illustrating the physical pain associated with coronavirus. This study contributes to ongoing scholarly discussions that focus on selected poems produced during the Covid-19 context and sheds light on their genre, conventions, and tropes.

Cite as:

Al-Harby, N. (2021). Coronavirus Apocalypse: A Representation of Despair and Resilience.
Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 5 (3) 55.-69.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol5no3.5


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Dr. Nesreen Al-Harby is an Assistant Professor of English literature in the Department of European Languages and Literature at King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia. She received her Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies and Genre Theory from the University of Leicester, UK. Her research interests include postmodern representations of women in literature and the cybersphere, Genre Theory and effects of employing genre conventions and tropes, postcolonial and neo-Orientalist writings, and autobiographical writings. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4619-8863