Hansen, Solveig Lena (2021):
"Otherness, Cloning, and Morality in John Wyndham’s The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)." Journal of Medical Humanities 43.4: 547-560.
Journal Article

The British writer John Wyndham (1903–1969) explored societal effects of surprising or mystical events. A paradigmatic example is The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), which portrays identical-looking children born without sexual intercourse. I propose a reading strategy that focuses on the fictional spatial order and analyses how the construction of the children’s otherness interferes with the village’s demarcation. Furthermore, I interpret the mysterious pregnancies as a reference to basic embryo research in the 1950s – cloning. Finally, I scrutinize Wyndham’s negotiation of utilitarianism throughout the novel and his critique of truly utilitarian decisions that are based on constructions of Otherness.