Dominant Discourse and Counter Discourse: The Study of Dissident Voices in The March by E. L. Doctorow

Sajad Ghanbari, Zohreh Ramin


There have been many texts and writings which show resistances and deviations against dominant power and ideology. Foucault’s discusses the existence of power relations in texts and addresses the ways which power uses to confront such deviancies in his book, <i>Discipline and Punish</i>. Literary texts can be viewed as sources where dominant discourse, ideologies, beliefs, opinions and ideas can be found. This can be more interesting when texts refer to an important event in history. <i>The March</i> is about the historical event of General Sherman’s march through America. Doctorow’s text tries to reveal a discourse other than the dominant one regarding this historical event.<i> The March</i> is studied to highlight deviations and dissidences expressed in it. Alan Sinfield believes that this representation of resistances in texts can show some fault-lines in power relations and create some gaps in power structures. These gaps can be considered as a threat to dominant ideology. Doctorow’s writing is scrutinized to underline such gaps in the society which he reveals in the novel.


Counter discourse; Discourse; Dominant ideology; Dissidence; Resistance

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