Foucault's Discipline and Punish and Power and Sex Essay

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Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" and "Power and Sex"

Every great architect is - necessarily - a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age- Frank Lloyd Wright

Darkness is meant to conceal, light is meant to expose, and there is power intrinsically imbued in both of these. Murderers hide in the dark, waiting for their victims, and the atrocities of different countries are hidden in history and official memos and propaganda. At the same time, light exerts power because it illuminates, it discovers, it creates vulnerability on all it touches. These powers, however, do not simply exist; they are forged within every aspect of life, even the very structures that people live in. Low-income
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Although the outside of the prison was meant to conceal, the inside was meant to illuminate; the prison was not meant merely to confine convicts, but also to keep a watchful eye on them, to keep them separate from one another and to keep them constantly under surveillance:

Rather than the massive, binary division between one set of people and another, it called for multiple separations, individualizing distributions, an organization in depth of surveillance and control, an intensification and a ramification of power. (Foucault, “Discipline” 553)

Instead of merely a holding cell, the prison became an instrument of subjugation, distinguished by the control it exerted over the inmates’ corporeal being. Visibility was exercised on the prisoners themselves, ensuring that even if their mind resisted, their bodies would be forced to obey. The separation, subjugation and surveillance of prisoners became the device through which order was maintained; prisoners were separated so they did not conspire, watched in case they needed medical attention, and monitored to make sure that they were not hiding contraband or trying to escape.

The transition from spectacle to prison can be traced to a much larger trend throughout history. With the outbreak of the plague in Europe at the end of the seventeenth century, the need for separation and observation became…