The Politics of Dead Bodies in John Ruganda’s The Floods

Caroline C. Sambai


Violence is a characteristic of most totalitarian states. It is more often deployed as a strategy to either deal with real or imagined enemies of the state or as a way of ruling the populace. While forms of violence range from physical, verbal to psychological, there is an extended dimension that deals with the brutality of dead bodies. This article seeks to examine the paradoxes and the symbolic meanings attached to the differential disposal of dead bodies of common men on the one hand and of distinguished persons on the other in John Ruganda’s play The Floods. Through the dehumanization of dead bodies of common men killed by the agents of the state and the glorification of the death of distinguished persons, the totalitarian state is represented as having a strong hold over both living and dead bodies.

Key words: Biopower, violence, dead bodies, totalitarian state, power

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