Social Critique

Of all of the essays and methodological contexts we worked with in English 305, I struggled most with. Foucault, Althusser, and Marx, all deal with some really difficult concepts in distinct ways. I struggled to identify the difference between each argument and as a result found myself wavering between all of them throughout the writing process.

I chose to focus on Foucault because I was able to wrap my head around the idea of the Panopticon and thought I understood the way that Foucault deconstructed it. I first established what I then thought was a thorough understanding of the methodological context. Then I identified moments of surveillance in Hamlet. I tired then to connect who was surveying who and tried to distinguish what that meant for the power structures at hand. My claim starts to take form in these notesHere is a more complete iteration of my ideas.

I turned in a partially finished draft for peer feedback. Since my argument was focused largely on Claudius, my peer feedback encouraged me to widen my perspective on surveillance to other characters in the play. They also encouraged me to more thoroughly assess Claudius’ motives.

I turned in one last draft to my instructor for feedback. When I turned it in, I felt pretty good about my work so, the feedback I received was a bit of a blow. As I mentioned earlier, my understanding a Foucault got mixed up in my understanding of Marx and Althusser. As a result, my focus on power structures seemed irrelevant. I needed to revisit my methodological work and restructure my essay entirely.

In the end, I played with a few ideas for revisions, but I felt that they would require too much work in light of the other work I was doing in this class. If I had more time, I may have revisited Foucault and worked on redeveloping my essay around a stronger understanding of his argument. But I felt that my time would be better spent working on my upcoming Feminist Critique and revisions for some of my earlier essays. The pursuit of perfection would have taken away from the quality of my other work, so abandoning it seemed like the best option.