“Visibility is a Trap” : Revealing the Metaphor of the Simian in Naked Lunch. 

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)


Thus far, the novel Naked Lunch has not been discussed from the aspect of critical animal studies, nor has it been connected to the theories of Michel Foucault. This essay however, argues that these diverse fields could be connected through the use of the simians that are frequently employed in Naked Lunch. By analyzing the metaphorical role of the simian, the structure of the normalization process can be revealed. Therefore the simian’s metaphorical role becomes to reveal the different stages character goes through in that process and ultimately revealing its negative effects. They also prove to employ the role of abnormality which normalization wants to subtract from the human in order to render her docile. By applying the power mechanisms such as signals, the concept of panopticism and the theory of the docile body to specific passages where simians are highly prominent, the claim of this paper can be demonstrated. Besides Foucault, the theories of Robin Lydenberg are also used consistently throughout the essay due to her valuable observations such as the struggle between body and mind. 

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