Dominant, Residual, and Emergent: Opposing Forces Hovering over John Dos Passos’ U.S.A

Rahmat Ollah Mahtabi, Razieh Eslamieh


This study is an attempt to investigate John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. Trilogy; The 42nd Parallel (1930); 1919 (1932); and The Big Money (1936) in the light of Raymond Williams. Analyzing the trilogy in terms of Williams’ hegemonic forces between dominant and emergent, it is recognized that the trilogy is full of tragic lives of characters living in the capitalist society of America. According to what Williams says, there are clashes between cultures in a society. He believes that the dominant culture constantly changes and it would not let other cultures to become the controlling power in the society. This tragedy is not an individual experience, but is rather like a collective consciousness. Each and every character is doing their best to change their condition into better but is opposed by the dominant. This is exactly in line with the idea of Williams that the dominant is able to project its own ideology and way of seeing the world so that the subordinated ones accept it as something natural and common. Although there are different types of hegemony including economic and cultural ones, hegemony in this trilogy is mostly the affirmation of the relations between economic and super-structural aspects of it.



Dominant, emergent, residual

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