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Louis Althusser

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Kristine Nutting

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of Louis Althusser

Althusser and the social space.
The most important point Althusser makes is in regard to the performance of the social self via social codes of conformity. These codes are controlled through reward and punishment. These structures of cultural conduct are called ideological state apparatuses (ISA's). Ideology is the representation of imagined circumstances that a community presents as reality. Therefore what Althusser is suggesting is that what we think is important or true is in fact imagined - it is false. The representations of our reality are in fact arbitrary ideological codes that support hierarhcical order and agenda's that are not in fact our own but come to be our own via the practice of ideological state apparatuses. Ideology functions by ideology.
ideology functions by;
1. the interpellation of individuals as subjects
2.their subjectionto the Subject
3.the mutal recognition or agreement of subjects (as individuals) who naturally embody the ideology of the state, the states ideology is believed to come from the self.
4. the absolute garauntee that everthing is real. But ideology when decontructed reveals that eveything is false. See above hysterics.

Oedipus according to the poetics of western philosophy it is the perfect play. A perfect Drama must also be tragedy. Oedipus does form the structure of western narrative from 450 BCE until the present day.
Aristotelian structure is

A good play also uses unity of time and space, and mimesis to facilitate the necessary function of catharsis.

Dramatic action is pre-determined by violence. Action equals one persons will upon another. Catharsis usually coincides with the peak moment of violence usually happening to female in the play.
Oedipal desire as discussed by Freud is the creation of identity. Both social and personal.
It is important for the child to first identify with the world of the father, then accept the rules of the father’s world and then find intimacy outside the home. Oedipal = identity struggles.
Oedipus can also be representative of social order. If Oedipus steps out of line with the ideologies of his culture he will be punished. Therefore the oedipal story can represent the structure and laws of our society to go against current ideology as in fact to be anti- oedipal. The centre of all social structure is located first in the family, and then modelled in the world.

Oedipal desire is any desire that desires what is outside of the social order. Therefore Blanche suffers the consequences of her oedipal desire which is in fact to behave as men do sexually. Blanche suffers the repercussions of her oedipal desire. Oedipal desire is not as dangerous for Stanley who does have sex with his sister (rape) which actually reveals that in fact he did not go against social order. Otherwise he would be punished. Aristotle says that a man is the sum total of his actions, let’s examine Stanley’s actions using oedipal desire. By imposing the code of Oedipus on Stanley’s actions we see that in this world of Tennessee Williams it is ok to rape women, and that they have no real power.
Streetcar named desire.
First play to explore realism on the stage and the full technique of Stanislavsky as taught at the time.
Realism really begins the first impulse toward it in 1888-1905. Realism occurs later in theatre than in painting. It is a reaction to the romanticism that was before (which was also a reaction to the industrial revolution). Stanislavski believed that all human behaviour could be broken down into objectives. Actors could then map out their through lines and plot out small actions in each scene. Each action feed into the overriding throughline, and each scene is broken down into beats which have overriding actions.
Why was streetcar provocative?
-showed poor people and lower classes.
-reveals and demonstrates the vicious nature of social ideology.
ISA’s in streetcar and their impact. How does Tennessee Williams deconstruct the ideological state apparatuses? What is the main Isa he examines?
The family is revealed as suspect and violent. It becomes the centre of socialisation. Where Blanche is asked to perform her femininity correctly as well as Stanley?
How does William's physically delineated the sexes and their struggle
How can you do a classical analysis of this text?
On Theory!
Your tools:
Oedipal desire
Oedipal social order
Classical paralells.
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