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“Punishment and crime in Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon”

Abstract : 's debut novel The Panopticon is a tale of punishment that has very little to do with its expected premise, crime, kept in the background. It tells the story of Anais Hendricks, a fifteen-year-old orphan who has been in and out of foster care ever since she was a baby, and a serial offender for more years than the narrative cares to account for. She is sent to an institution pending a possible trial for allegedly assaulting a policewoman and putting her into a coma, an act which may or may not have taken place before the narrative begins. The institution's name, The Panopticon, invites a reflection on Jeremy Bentham's eighteenth-century design and on its social and psychological implications. Surveiller et Punir In his historical and philosophical study of punishment Surveiller et Punir (1975), Michel Foucault analyses the shift in our modern societies to disciplinary power, with its goal of watching and controlling the individual. The consequence is that human relations are reduced to relations of power (at the expense of human rights), with institutions as omnipotent structures
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Marie-Odile Pittin-Hedon. “Punishment and crime in Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon”. Berton, Jean et Bill Findlay. Crime, Punishment and the Scots, Presses universitaires de Franche Comté, pp.163-174, 2019, 978-2-84867-659-3. ⟨hal-02568761⟩

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