When speaking about Michel Foucault ‘s discourse theory and its relation to Dr. Seuss’s books, it is necessary to consider some key concepts of the philosopher’s discourse. First of all, it should be pointed out that the analysis of images and other symbolic practices as well as some ideas and thoughts is recognized to be really important process, as such analysis gives us an opportunity to focus on the so-called continuities of change.
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Generally, one is to keep in mind that Foucault ‘s discourse “tells us something about the person speaking the language, the culture that that person is part of, the network of social institutions that the person caught up in, and even frequently the most basic assumptions that the person holds” (Whisnant 5). In other words, one can make a conclusion that discourse seems to be the social tool, which main purpose is to show the peculiarities of understanding human experience.
One of the most important points, which should be considered, is a historical transformation discourse theory is related to. Thus, according to Michel Foucault, small shifts are considered to be significant elements, which reflect the ways the language is expressed. For instance, when speaking about Dr. Seuss’s The Cat Not in the Hat, it becomes obvious that transformativeness inquiry is one of the key concepts of a humorous book.
On the other hand, it is also necessary to remember that children’s classic The Cat in the Hat can be analyzed differently. Laura A. Heymann is of the opinion that “reader recognition of the defendant’s recontextualization mediates any potential conflict between a reader-response view of transformativeness and the derivative work right” (464).
As far as discourses Michel Foucault speaks about affect numerous areas of life; for this reason, one is to keep in mind that discourses exist everywhere, they encompass all the genres, and Dr. Seuss’s works cannot be regarded as exceptions.
Generally, it should be pointed out that the social construction of reality Dr. Seuss highlights depends upon the chains of language Michel Foucault depicts. In other words, culture cannot exist without discourse. Discourses undergo transformations, and these changes can be traced back.
When analyzing Dr. Seuss’s works, it becomes evident that “once transformations in a given discourse happen, the new rules can spread, infiltrating their way into new areas of life and even transforming older discourses or forcing them out of practice” (Whisnant 8).
The interdependence between Michel Foucault’s discourse theory and Dr. Seuss’s works generates the truth. For instance, the context of Dr. Seuss’s works convinces people to accept the reality. Moreover, as far as discourse communicates knowledge, it also shows us the ways people interpret the world.
Finally, cultural transformations explanation is recognized to be one of the most important aims of a discourse. As far as the production of discourse can be controlled, the author can impact on languages, images and signs he creates. In other words, the author can create his own reality and convince the readers to accept it.
However, if the reader does not understand truths of a discourse, one can state that discourses exist independently. So, taking into account Michel Foucault’s discourse theory, one can state for sure that Dr. Seuss’s works reflect cultural transformations French philosopher speaks about. In other words, the truth one accepts through the reality is considered to be absolute.
Heymann, Laura. Everything Is Transformative: Fair Use and Reader Response. 2008. Web.
Whisnant, Clayton. Foucault & Discourse. Web.