Discourse of Power and Criticism of Consumerism in D. Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas”

Dmytro Drozdovskyi


In the paper, the specific narrative structure of the novel “Cloud Atlas” has been analyzed. The array of philosophical questions that determine the post-postmodern literature has been outlined. In the novel, the motif connected with the rebirth of the human being has being explicated; the belief related to the irrational bond between the events in the past, present and future, about memory as a special sphere where the crossing of different temporal modes is possible has been visualized. Changeable in this transformation system are such factors as sex, gender, social positions, religious affiliations, etc. The immanent essence of the “humanity” has been defined. This, Sonmi~451 in the fifth story struggles against the totalitarism which cultivates the industry of consumerism transforming entertaining ads and other forms of leisure into the ideology. The forms of criticism toward the consumerism and the bonds between memory, knowledge, and power have been explained. In the paper, the author focuses on the features related to the transition from postmodernism to post-postmodernism in contemporary English literature. The key features of postmodernism in accordance with the theoretical approaches I. Hassan, M. Foucault, F. Kermode, D. Fokkema, etc. have been outlined. The categories of inconsistency and immanence that determine the characteristics of the postmodern sensibility have been emphasized. The conflicts between reason and intuition, myth and technology, religion and science have been analyzed in the discourse of post-postmodernism.


D. Mitchell; “Cloud Atlas”; discourse of power; ideology of consumerism; capitalism; M. Foucault; memory; knowledge


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GOST Style Citations

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Jameson F. Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism / F. Jameson. – Durham : Duke University Press, 1992. – 275 p.

Kaufmann W. Nietzsche : Philosopher, Psychologist, Antichrist / W. Kaufmann. – New York : The World Publishing Company, 1956. – 289 p.

Mitchell D. Cloud Atlas / D. Mitchell. – London : Hodder and Stoughton, 2004. – 544 p.

Nietzsche F. The Will to Power / F. Nietzsche ; [ed. Walter Kaufmann]. – New York : Vintage Books, 1967. – 224 p.

Said E. W. Orientalism / E. W. Said. – New York : Vintage Books, 1979. – 368 p. 


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