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Formal Writing Assignment Essay

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Analysis: “Panopticism” and “Our Secret”

In Michael Foucault’s reading on “Panopticism” he breaks down the social/economical systems and explains that society’s mentality on the law system. He answers the “why question” in a way certain individuals act and think as they do. Many times his explanation is much branched off into a different level of thinking. In one paragraph in “Panopticism”, a disciplinary mechanism is described, which is considered the best way for one person to be punished, in the new knowledge and learning is gained by every individual. But in “Our Secret” by Susan Griffins she carefully constructs and describes history, particularly WWII through the lives of several different people. Such as David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky who had a difficult time grasping her concepts that says, “Griffin writes about the past on how we can know it, what its relation to the present, why we should care. In the way she writes, she is also making an argument about how we can know and understand the past.” Griffin strikes all of these aspects in her essay. What is most compelling about the essay is how she incorporated personal, family, and world history into a good story of narrative, without ever losing the factual evidence the story provides. In the paragraph on page 182 in Ways of Reading, Foucault explains how he feels a person should be disciplined and he looks at it from different angle to really understand. “This enclosed, segmented space, observed at every point, in which the person inserted a fixed place, in which the slightest movements are supervised, which all events are recorded in an uninterrupted work of writing links the center and periphery, in which the power is exercised without the division, according to a continuous hierarchical figure, that a person is constantly located, examined, and distributed among the living beings, sick, and the dead that constitutes a compact model of the disciplinary mechanism.” In the first sentence of the paragraph a description of how closely watched and evaluated the individuals are. All movement, all actions, everything would be analyzed. This is how he feels a disciplinary mechanism should be and is a key model to follow. Disciplining that way would make the individual a better person, which I believe; “exercising power without division” is an example. In her essay, Griffin incorporates stories ...

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