Topic: The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham and the book Critical Theory “A User-Friendly Guide” by Lois Tyson Second Ediition
Remember you are using W Somerset Maugham book, The Painted Veil and Chapter 9 in Lois Tyson’s book, Critical Theory Today, A User-Friendly Guide, Second Edition To write this essay and nothing else. First, explain in your own words the new historical and cultural criticism concept that “power circulates in all directions, to and from all social levels, at all times.” Second, Next discuss an example from Maugham’s novel of power circulating to and from social levels. For example, you might want to look at the manner in which a colonial official is constrained by his official position of power and authority in terms of his private life and behavior. Or you might want to look at the manner in which a man’s legal and financial power over his family in the novel obliges him to behave in certain ways that give his family power over him as the head of the family. Or you could look at the manner in which a charitable organization such as the Catholic convent is constrained by its ethos to serve those in society who would not otherwise have power over it. These are just some examples. You may choose one of them to explore or choose your own from the novel. The important issue is to question through your analysis the “old historical” notion that a power structure only works in one direction – downward, from those in authority to those beneath.
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