Ecopsychology in J. G. Ballard’s Fiction

by Paola Della Valle

J. G. Ballard prompted a turn in dystopian literature from political/social issues to environmental concerns with his famous tetralogy in the 1960s. Fascinated by psychology and psychoanalysis, he was interested in the effects of urban and natural surroundings on the human psyche. He believed in the interconnectedness of humans and the environment, and was convinced that an unbalanced relationship could affect people’s psychological equilibrium. Novels like Concrete Island (1974) and High-Rise (1975) investigate the reactions of the human psyche to hyper-technologized habitats, which makes him a forerunner of ecopsychology, an emerging discipline studying the connections between mental health and the environment.