"The whole earth as village" : a chronotopic analysis of Marshall McLuhan's "Global Village" and Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner
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Marshall McLuhan's "global village", and his theories on communications and technology, in conjunction with Patrick McGoohan's television series The Prisoner (ATV, 1967-1968) are explored in this thesis. The Prisoner, brainchild of McGoohan, is about the abduction and confinement of a British government agent imprisoned within the impenetrable boundaries of a benign but totalitarian city -state called "The Village". The purpose of his abduction and imprisonment is for the extraction of information regarding his resignation as a government spy. Marshall McLuhan originally popularized the phrase "the global village" in The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making o/the Topographic Man (1962), asserting that, "The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village" (p. 31). This thesis argues that valid parallels exist between McGoohan's conception of "village", as manifested in The Prisoner, and McLuhan's global village. The comprehensive methodological stratagem for this thesis includes Marshall McLuhan's "mosaic" approach, Mikhail Bakhtin's concept ofthe "chronotope", as well as a Foucauldian genealogicallhistorical discourse analysis. In the process of deconstructing McLuhan's texts and The Prisoner as products of the 1960s, an historical "constellation" (to use Walter Benjamin's concept) of the same present has been executed. By employing this synthesized methodology, conjunctions have been made between McLuhan's theories and the series' main themes of bureaucracy as dictatorship, the perversion of science and technology, freedom as illusion, and the individual in opposition to the collective. A thorough investigation of the global village and The Prisoner will determine whether or not Marshall McLuhan and/or Patrick McGoohan visualize the village as an enslaving technological reality.