Effacing Myths and Mystification of Power: Sam Shepard’s The God of Hell  Cover Image

Effacing Myths and Mystification of Power: Sam Shepard’s The God of Hell
Effacing Myths and Mystification of Power: Sam Shepard’s The God of Hell

Author(s): Boróka Prohászka-Rád
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Scientia
Keywords: Sam Shepard; culture of violence; Michel Foucault; power relations; Victor Turner; ritual; liminality

Summary/Abstract: Sam Shepard’s The God of Hell dramatizes an initiation process that leaves the domain of the personal and familial and widens into a national rite of passage within which a nation—metonymically represented by the Wisconsin farmers Frank and Emma— is forced to leave behind the illusory cultural myth of a “normal, rural America” (Sarah Palin) and recognize a culture of war whose violence, in lack of an identifiable enemy, turns upon itself and destroys its own. The play, read in the conceptual framework of Victor Turner’s theories on ritual and liminality and Michel Foucault’s “The Subject and Power,” effaces the mechanism and strategies of a power that subjects individuals into servitude.

  • Issue Year: 1/2009
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 60-77
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: English