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Foucault and the Strategies of Resistance in the New Journalism of Capote, Wolfe, and Kovic

Title: Foucault and the Strategies of Resistance in the New Journalism of Capote, Wolfe, and Kovic.
Name(s): Kiely, Laura Elizabeth, author
Stuckey-French, Ned, professor directing thesis
Edwards, Leigh, committee member
Faulk, Barry, committee member
Department of English, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis is a study of the ways in which Michel Foucault's theoretical assumptions about power relations are manifested in the New Journalism of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and Ron Kovic's Born on the Fourth of July. Chapter one begins by delineating the many power relations operating within In Cold Blood. Capote's groundbreaking nonfiction novel illustrates the complexity of the power struggle between Capote and his reader; Capote, Perry Smith, and Dick Hickock; and American culture and Perry, Dick, and the Clutters. This chapter includes a close reading of Foucault's "The Subject and Power." Chapter one finds instances where panopticism affects power relations. Chapter two contends that power and the creation of discourses of power are vital to the health of any group or society. A reading of Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test reveals that power is ubiquitous — even in anti-authoritarian, antiestablishment groups like Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters. Wolfe's text contends that the discourse of power can be healthy for a group or a society, so far as the source of truth is not someone like Ken Kesey. Throughout the text, Wolfe criticizes Kesey, the Pranksters, and the psychedelic drug movement. Chapter two finds that Wolfe's book is essentially an exercise in meta-discourse: Wolfe promotes his own idea of truth while critiquing another. The final chapter in this study explores resistance in Ron Kovic's memoir, Born on the Fourth of July. Where Kovic may lack the journalist credentials of Capote and Wolfe, he makes up for in passion and raw talent. His memoir delivers a personal, historical, and sociological account of one of the darkest aspects of American life during the 1960s and early 70s. Writing about his struggle to adjust to his new life as a paralyzed war veteran, Kovic chronicles his resistance against not only the Vietnam War, but also against established conventions of "normality." Kovic is paradoxically trapped and then freed by his paralysis. He represents Foucault's notion of a subject's ethical possibility.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3126 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2008.
Date of Defense: December 7, 2007.
Keywords: Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, Kovic, Born on the Fourth of July, counterculture group psychology, panopticon, 60s, Freud, Didion, Wolfe, In Cold Blood, Capote, Foucault
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Ned Stuckey-French, Professor Directing Thesis; Leigh Edwards, Committee Member; Barry Faulk, Committee Member.
Subject(s): English literature
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Host Institution: FSU

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Kiely, L. E. (2008). Foucault and the Strategies of Resistance in the New Journalism of Capote, Wolfe, and Kovic. Retrieved from