Discipline and Punish - Section 1, Part 1 Summary & Analysis

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Summary

The first part of the book, entitled, “Torture,” begins with a section called “The body of the condemned.” This opening section sets up two opposing images of criminal punishment. The first is a newspaper article that describes the 1757 public execution of Robert-Francois Damiens, who attempted to assassinate the king of France at the time, Louis XV. Foucault provides grim details of Damiens’ torture and subsequent execution; flesh was torn from his body with red-hot pincers, he was dismembered and burnt alive after a botched attempt at being drawn and quartered. Foucault follows this scene with an 1838 description of a daily schedule for prisoners drawn up by French politician Léon Faucher.

Though he acknowledges that these two forms of punishment, being almost one hundred years apart and dealing with different kinds of crimes, are not exactly the same in nature, he writes that...

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This section contains 1,567 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Discipline and Punish Study Guide
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