Power-discourse’s Reading of “Jennie Gerhardt”
Michel Foucault, French well-known post-structuralism theorist, claims that power is more than supreme authority; instead, it is a relation that is intertwined with one another in a complicated net. At the center of his theory is the operating mechanism of power-discourse. Power and discourse is inseparable from one another. Power paves the way for the creation of knowledge which could also exert significant influence upon the implementation of power. The aim of this paper is to apply the theory of Foucault’s power-discourse to analyze the power operating mechanism of “Jennie Gerhardt” written by Theodore Dreiser, exploring how the power-discourse mechanism that applies the modern punishment techniques of unequal gaze and gentle punishment can exert its influence on the fate of protagonists in the novel as well as how those who are oppressed by this kind of power relation endeavor to resort to the resistance power to acquire their discourse power.
Key words: Jennie Gerhardt; Power; Discourse; Unequal gaze; Punishment; Resistance power
Dreiser, Theodore. (1911). Jennie Gerhardt[Pdf Version]. Retrieved from http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/28988
Foucault, Michel. (1995). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (SheridanAlan, Trans.). New York: Vintage Books.
Foucault, Michel. (1982). The Subject and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago.
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