Exploring and evaluating discursive power: A critical discourse analysis of Khaled Hosseini’s A thousand splendid suns
Albatool Abalkheel, Razia Sultana
The current study focuses on the exploration and evaluation of discursive power in Khalid Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns based on Fairclough’s concept of power with a feminist critical discourse studies perspective. In " Language and Power" Fairclough argued that power and ideologies are not linked to particular groups of people or linguistic forms or permanent attribute of a person or social group but ideology is linked to discourse and other moments of social practices. He also emphasized that orders of discourse vary in different social cultures. In this process all social orders of discourse are put together as a hidden effect of power. Power is discursively exercised and challenged at the agency and institutional levels. Linguistic and interactional structures and strategies serve as powerful means for power. The novel under study contains a number of discourses which indicate that power is exercised and resisted for multiple ends, viz. interests, persecution, social identity, social status, image and supremacy. It is a discursive site for the novelist who has revealed how patriarchal power is discursively exercised and challenged by characters in dialogues. As power is highly context-sensitive, and the analysis of context in relation to text is the fundamental as well as integral part of critical discourse analysis. Therefore, discursive power in the novel under study is critically analyzed in the socio-political and cultural context of Afghanistan where the Afghans, especially women and children, are subject to power abuse. It is a projection of a male dominated and suppressive society.
Albatool Abalkheel, Razia Sultana. Exploring and evaluating discursive power: A critical discourse analysis of Khaled Hosseini’s A thousand splendid suns. International Journal of Research in English, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2021, Pages 34-41