Vol. 14 No. 1 (2021): Aesthetics in Times of Contagion
Varia

Social Control and Submission in Edward Bond’s The War Plays

Tahereh Rezaei
Assistant professor of English Literature at Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran
Asiyeh Khalifezadeh
Graduate student of English Literature at Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran
Published July 20, 2021
Keywords
  • Edward Bond,
  • The War Plays,
  • Identity Thinking,
  • the Addendum,
  • Sublimation
How to Cite
Rezaei, T., & Khalifezadeh, A. (2021). Social Control and Submission in Edward Bond’s The War Plays. Aisthesis. Pratiche, Linguaggi E Saperi dell’estetico, 14(1), 183-199. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/aisthesis/article/view/11591

Abstract

Reading Edward Bond’s The War Plays in light of Theodor Adorno and Sigmund Freud, the writers of this article intend to investigate the interconnection between the mechanisms of social control and the psychology of submission. To this end, socio-political institutions in The War Plays, represented by the army and the state, are seen drawing on Adorno’s concept of identity-thinking (Identitätsdenken), by which the cognitive potentials of the characters are systematically suppressed. Also, uninhibited aggression of characters will be discussed in view of the mechanisms of sublimation, and the addendum (Das Hinzutretende), by which the complexities of the response characters give to the situation of coercion is elucidated. In The War Plays, socio-political institutions promote violence to produce socially conditioned victims. These aggressive victims, we conclude, would cooperate with power for the preservation of the status quo, yet challenge the system momentarily through expressing their sufferings.