The concern with self-awareness has dominated the Western philosophy and literature being reflected mostly through the ancient Greek motif “know thyself”. The awareness of the self would promote one’s identity as a unique entity, which should be capable of expressing individual thoughts and experiences in order to confer moral significance to one’s actions.
The present study focuses on Mark Ravenhill’s play Some Explicit Polaroids which offers a portrait of the societal chaos in a desensitised London, where human life and emotions are commodified and engender the human potential for genuine feelings and expression of moral judgement, thus thwarting the creation of true relationships. Through the characters of his play, Ravenhill generates an awareness of the moral vacuum, which is created as a result of indifference or/and violence of the government apparatus which forces the individual to develop survival mechanisms that abandon altogether the moral significance of their actions and, respectively, any concern with the development of an authentic self. Nadia, a character in Ravenhill’s play, who lacks individual critical judgement and self-knowledge, forms her identity in terms of transaction and exchange that allows her to be easily objectified. This research explores Nadia’s attempt to regain self-value and self-awareness in terms of the transformative power of negativity and will to truth as the transgression and destabilization of the illusion of perfections as to bring the conflictual state into focus by posing the lethargic values and disintegration of faith which are inherent in the happy world myth.
CARNEY, S. (2013). The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary English Tragedy. Canada: University of Toronto Press.
DELEUZE, G. (1994). Difference and Repetition. UK: The Athlone Press.
FISHER, M. (2009). Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative. Zero Books.
FOUCAULT, M. (2008). The Birth of Biopolitics. (Graham Burchell, trans.) (Michel Senellart, eds.) New York: Palgrave Macmillan
FOUCAULT, M. (1982). The Subject and Power. Critical Inquiry, Vol.8 &, No. 4., p.777-795
NİCHOLE, D. (2000). Negativity and Politics: Dionysus and Dialectics from Kant to Postructuralism. UK: Routledge
RAVENHILL, M. (2001). Ravenhill Plays: 1.Shopping and F***ing ,Faust is Dead, Handbag, Some Explicit Polaroids. UK: Methuen Publishing Limited.
SCHMITT, K.(2005). The Hell with Culture: Anarchism and Twentieth Century British Literature. (H.Gustav Klaus and Stephen Knight, Eds). UK: University of Wales Press.
URBAN, K. (2004). “Towards a Theory of Cruel Britannia: Coolness, Cruelty, and the 'Nineties”. In New Theatre Quarterly, 20(4), 354-372.