Deprived of Free Will: Antihumanism in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday PartyJournal: English Literature and Language Review (Vol.6, No. 3)
Publication Date: 2020-03-15
Authors : Mohsen Ravanpak; Fatemeh Pourjafari;
Page : 24-31
Keywords : Antihumanism; Power-knowledge; Ideological state apparatuses; Death drive.;
The present paper discusses one of Pinter's plays, The Birthday Party, in the light of the notion of antihumanism as proposed by Foucault, Althusser, and Freud. Arguing that an important aspect of Harold Pinter's plays is the description of how people are forced into an antihuman state in which they have no opportunity to show and practice their individuality and free will, the present research applies Foucault to see how antihumanism is created through politics, applies Althusser to see it coming through ideology, and applies Freud to find how it comes through psychological mechanisms. Thus, all through the research, Foucault's notions of disindividualization and institutionalization, Althusser's notions of Repressive State Apparatus and Ideological State Apparatuses, and Freud's notions of id-ego-superego and defense mechanism act as the theoretical framework to discuss how antihumanism is created in the course of the play.
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