Distemper, Scourge, Invader: Discourse and Plague in Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year

Geoffrey Payne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyzes the unsettling role given to plague in the representational practices of Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year (1722). It focuses on how Defoe's combination of discursive frames provides a model for interpreting and understanding his complex world-view. I suggest that, by scrutinizing the mixture of discourses employed to represent plague and its effects, especially those drawn from the fields of natural philosophy, politics and theology, scholars can newly appreciate Defoe's view of the position of the human in a total world economy. By analyzing how plague orders and disturbs notions of the human within those different fields, and how it bridges the divisions among them, I propose that we are able to better understand Defoe's systemic vision of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-636
Number of pages17
JournalEnglish Studies
Volume95
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Distemper, Scourge, Invader: Discourse and Plague in Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this