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Samantha Brown
Benjamin Ondieki
English 102
A Modern Prison
In the beginning of Michel Foucault’s writing Panopticism, he tell us of a plague stricken town and the precautions taken to ensure the disease is contained. The town is closed down to all; no one comes in and no one leaves. Each family is confined to their house, “prohibited to leave under punishment of death” (209). Guards and such are places throughout the town to secure it as well as keep records of how everyone feels and any occurrences that take place. The people of the town are watched constantly; everything they do is seen by their guard or intendants. Not only can the people not move around their town or leave their homes, they are not able to have any medical attention but that supplied by the government. The reader can clearly see the imposition of power that the government is using to confine the danger. The government has used its power to keep people in its control for centuries, and the government was always seen as the panopticon. While in some countries, the government is still see as the panopticon, I believe the strong hold of power has fallen under the panopticon of the media. Foucault’s example of the plague stricken town and present day society has many similarities.

“First, a strict spatial partitioning: the closing of the town and its outlying districts…the division of the town into distinct quarters”(209). Just as the town was divided into quarters because of the disease, the media creates divisions in society. These divisions are largely societal. The news and other shows such as sitcoms tend to stereotype people. Because the media has long been a source of vital information, people don’t often think it could be sending the wrong message or even providing false information. These stereotypes are sometimes seen as being a burden or disease to society. Many people feel that the world would just be a better place if the unmentionables of their...
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