Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

World Languages

Major Professor

Pablo Brescia


Argentina, Bajtín, dictadura, Foucault, gulag, Rusia


This thesis examines the role of an intellectual confronted with the power of a totalitarian state. It is based on a literary analysis of two literary works: Prisoner without a name, cell without a number by Jacobo Timerman and Archipelago Gulag by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This work explores the dynamics manifested in the language used by an intellectual (a writer) at the level of discourse to challenge the status quo and question power relations established in a society with a repressive state system. The main focus of the analysis lies in establishing how social reality is reflected through discourse of an intellectual who is at the same time a writer, a former political prisoner, a witness, a victim and a judge.

Furthermore, the purpose is to examine the notion of power and its relation in respect to such concepts as discourse, literature, knowledge, state and an individual and how the existing power relations affect and contribute to construction and / or deconstruction of individual and collective identity. The thesis's particular interest consists in the transformative effect of discourse on power relations (indoctrination, dominance, collaboration, etc.) which exist within a society as reflected through literary discourse. The theoretical foundation for the analysis will be partially based on the concepts proposed by Michel Foucault in his theory of power, Mikhail Bakhtin in his literary theory and Norman Fairclough in his CDA (critical discourse analysis) theory.