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The Study of Foucault’s “The Composition of Forces” in Shutter Island (2003)

Journal: International Journal of English, Literature and Social Science (Vol.7, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 320-326

Keywords : Dennis Lehane; Michel Foucault; the composition of forces; disciplinary power; Dissociative Identity Disorder; denial; resistance;

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The American author Dennis Lehane, published his masterpiece Shutter Island in 2003. In his psychological novel, alongside the thrilling themes of crime and crisis, a heavy undercurrent of power and punishment grabs reader's attention. From a literary philosophical side, Foucauldian notions of madness, “the composition of forces” upon the mentally disturbed patients, could captivate a critic's attention. It is therefore, beneficial to analyze the Dissociative Personality Disorder of the protagonist of the novel. The present study aims to investigate “the composition of forces” in Shutter Island (2003) based on Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish (1975). Foucault in his book scrutinizes “the composition of forces,” how individuals and bodies are placed, and redirected in larger machines, like choosing good soldiers and training them for army. Among Foucault's ideas, “the composition of forces” has been considered as one of the primary and essential tools of maintaining the disciplinary power. The study concludes that the main character of the novel shows resistance and denial through his process of treatment. In fact, his Dissociative Identity Disorder is a manifestation of the way he wants to escape from the superintending forces of the disciplinary power

Last modified: 2022-09-08 14:30:46