Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Ruth Mas

Second Advisor

Christopher Braider

Third Advisor

Elisabeth Bloomfield


The purpose of this thesis is to explore the relation between the Foucauldian concepts of truth and confession and their place within modern literature. By focusing on Marcel Proust’s La Prisonnière in particular, the intention is to examine how confession operates as a productive source of truth in an art form that by its very definition appears to resist the categorization of “truthful”. What makes Proust’s work especially critical to this is analysis is how its autobiographical elements and rhetorical devices entwine themselves with the art of confession and both expand as well as complicate the notion of truth and its function in modern society. The novel is a perfect crystallization of Foucault’s conception of the productive power of confession and discourse that appears in the realm of a person questioning another subject in search of truth.