The Hard Survival of the Marginalized: an Analysis of The Human Stain in the Context of Power Theory
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||Philip Roth The Human Stain the marginalized power struggles|
Philip Roth has created many works, covering themes related to racial identity,gender, holocaust, postmodernism and human psyche. His novel The Human Stain (2000)is one with such extensive coverage, hastening the birth of studies on identity, ethics,writing techniques and so on, but no studies have been made from the perspective ofFoucault’s power theory till now. What Roth expects to show through The Human Stainis his concern for the hard survival of the marginalized, and of all the human beings, topush it further.This thesis tries to approach The Human Stain from the perspective of power theory,as both Roth and Foucault have shown their solicitude for the marginalized in their works,and both power and stains are omnipresent in the society. In the thesis, people’s strugglesare displayed from their resistance to racial, patriarchal, and normative powersrespectively. Because of the suppression from racial power, Coleman Silk is pushed to bea marginalized, and in his struggle, he constructs an identity for himself and begins hisliving as a “hybrid” mingling neither with the white nor with the black. Due to theoppression from patriarchal power, Faunia Farley becomes marginalized, and in her fight,she takes a figurative flight in her imaginative marriage with a bird, and lives somewhatindependently from men under an obedient disguise. Owing to the torture caused bynormative power, Lester Farley, as a veteran, is rejected by the dominant and the generalpublic, and in his resistance, he cooperatively takes part in the therapeutic activities andpositively achieves mental peace. Through representing the experiences of thesemarginalized, Roth manages to show and arouse the concern for this particular group.Besides, since Roth believes that the stains are inextricably embedded in the humansociety and not exclusive to a particular group or time, he actually manifest his reflectionover human nature and the issues of equality, freedom, justice, tolerance, etc.