Analytics Of Power: A Hermeneutic Study Of Moth Smoke By Mohsin Hamid

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Sadaf Afreen , Madiha Jameel , Saneen Iraj , Mahwish Saif


Power has been a source of conflict since the advent of human civilization and it is the most debatable phenomenon round the globe. The history is replete with the instances regarding war of succession and brutal murder of kith and kin for power. With the globalization of the world, the sovereignty of power has reshaped itself into modern “disciplinary” society as per Foucault’s concept of Power- Knowledge. He is of the view that “power is everywhere” and “it comes from everywhere”. This concept (Power-Knowledge) inextricably runs the system of a society in the modern times as modern states are “disciplinary”. The present research aims to study the analytics of power in a Pakistani urban society under Foucault’s concept of Power- Knowledge. The researcher selected Moth Smoke (2000) by Mohsin Hamid for the study as it contains most of the issues faced by an emerging Pakistani urban society. Hamid portrayed the psychological effects of power on the individuals through the protagonist of the novel, Daru. His journey from an intelligent and ambitious banker to a drug dealer exposes this relational system of power and knowledge in the current novel. Rich class exercise power on institutions as well as on individuals by the corrupted money they earned through different tactics. Hence underprivileged classes suffer along with the individuals who degenerate morally in this scenario. But through Foucault’s concept of power, it is clear that power relations are “imminent” they work from bottom up as Daru’s destroyed self affects Ozi (his best friend from upper class). Ozi suffers due to Daru’s contempt and societal pressure he (Daru) gets in the form of undue competition and institutional corruption on the part of rich class. He snatches what he could not get through proper channel in an opportunist society. At the end Ozi’s circular motion of finding the truth behind Mumtaz and Daru’s affair gives him power to exercise on Dar. He puts him behind the bars in an allegedly murder which he (Ozi) himself committed long ago. Mumtaz bears this burden of Knowledge alone and leaves home to fight against “disciplinary” tactics used by upper class in an urban society to exercise power on the people. Hence the researcher tries to find the relational systematic way of the exercise of power on people in the current study with the topic “An Analytics of Power: A Hermeneutic study Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid (2000)”.

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