The Builder Inquires the Bricks: A Study of Roger Waters’ The Wall from the Viewpoint of Jean Francois Lyotard’s Paralogy

A.Majid Hayati, Mohammad Hayati


The focus of the present study was on paralogical potential of the lyrics. For this reason, four tracks from The Wall, which focuses on the alienation and self-captivation of its main character, Pink, because of his nervous breakdown caused by family, school, and society, were analyzed with emphasis on the dialogic/paralogical elements within the album. “Mother”, “Hey You”, “Comfortably Numb”, and “The Trial” were studied separately. After a precise discussion and inspection, it was shown that Pink, as the main character (voice) in each of these tracks, allows the other voices (hierarchies) to have their say, and thus the continuous paralogy shows itself in the theatre of his mind. As a result, the only way is an ongoing conflict in which all the voices get a chance to speak out, not the deletion and elimination of any of them. Consensus leads to the annihilation of either one side or both/all sides. Therefore, the solution is an unsolvable Babel of conflict with the involvement of different language games (different trends of life).   



paralogy, The Wall, Roger Waters, language games, polyphony, dialogism

Full Text:



Brügger, N. (2001). What about the Postmodern? The Concept of the Postmodern in the Work of Lyotard. Yale French Studies, 99, 77-92.

Connor, Steven. (2005). Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Print.

Eagleton, T. (1982). Wittgenstein’s Friends. New Left Review 135, 64-90.

Hardy, P., and Dave, L. (1977). The Encyclopedia of Rock: From Liverpool to San Francisco. Vol. 2. Ayuryles: Aquaris Books, Print.

Keane, J. (1992).The Modern Democratic Revolution: Reflections on Lyotard's The Postmodern Condition. Judging Lyotard. Ed. Andrew Benjamin. Routledge: London, 81-98.

Lyotard, Jean-Francois. (1984). The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Print.

---. (1988). The Differend: Phrases in Dispute. Trans. Georges Van Den Abbeele. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Manning, T. (2006).The Rough Guide to Pink Floyd . London: Rough Guides Ltd.

Nuyen, A. T. (2000). Lyotard as Moral Educator. Lyotard: Just Education. Ed. Pradeep A. Dhillon and Paul Standish. London: Routledge, 97-109.

Readings, B. (1992). Pagans, Perverts or Primitives? Experimental Justice in the Empire of Capital. Judging Lyotard. Ed. Andrew Benjamin. London: Routledge, 168-191.

Sidorkin, A. (2002). Lyotard and Bakhtin: Engaged Diversity in Education. Interchange 33.1, 85-97.

Wittgenstein, L. (1956). Philosophical Investigations. Trans. G. E. M. Anscombe. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd Print.

Yancy, G. (2002) Lyotard and Irigaray: Challenging the (White) Male Philosophical Metanarrative Voice. Journal of Social Philosophy 33(4), 563-580.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.