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The Wanting Seed Summary
Anthony Burgess

Everything you need to understand or teach The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess.

  • The Wanting Seed Summary & Study Guide

The Wanting Seed Summary

Plot Summary

The Wanting Seed, by Anthony Burgess, is a dystopian view of a future plunged into worldwide famine and chaos by the mismanagement of government and abuse of the environment. It was published in 1963, a year after the appearance of another dark novel, A Clockwork Orange, which made Burgess famous. The Wanting Seed takes place in Great Britain, although other countries around the world are mentioned in which similar events occur. The novel opens with the mourning of a mother, Beatrice-Joanna Foxe, for her recently deceased little son. The child's body is being commandeered by the Department of Agriculture for use as fertilizer because overpopulation has resulted in a critical shortage of food.

The officials can hardly contain their satisfaction over the boy's death, which enrages Beatrice-Joanna. She seeks solace in her husband's brother, Derek Foxe, with whom she is having an affair. Beatrice-Joanna's husband, Tristram Foxe, is a...

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Study Pack

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The Wanting Seed Study Guide

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