Close Readings of Historical and Fictional Narratives of Conspiracy Theories: Challenging the Dominant Narrative

Close Readings of Historical and Fictional Narratives of Conspiracy Theories: Challenging the Dominant Narrative

Length: 2768 words (7.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Conspiracy theories have gained a greater discourse in the twenty-first century. Fictional narratives, Hollywood blockbusters, television series and documentaries, and many other pop culture mediums have used conspiracies to spin tales and capture an audience. In this essay I would like to argue that the dominant narrative of a historical event exists because the elite have the power to manipulate and transform it. The group in power values a hegemonic society, perpetuating certain myths in order to create social cohesion within a nation. As a result, conspiracy theories challenge the dominant narrative. This challenge is how subscribers use conspiracy to attempt agency over the elite. I will use the sinking of the Titanic and Don DeLilo’s novel, Libra, to demonstrate how the elite fight for narrative control and how a close reading of these narratives is necessary to evaluate conspiracy theories.
In conspiracy theories, the elite represent the individuals and groups who have power. This small population has access to a large amount of money and resources, giving them an advantage over anyone who lacks this access. The elite can represent the conflict between high class versus the low and working class. Also, the government and any governing leadership can be considered the elite over the rest of the nation. This distinction will be important when discussing why people invest in conspiracy theories.
The dominant narrative is the story of an event that has gained support from the powerful, the narrative that has been written into historical texts and taught to each generation. Most importantly, the dominant narrative is what has existed throughout time because of the elite’s control. It is one version of the “truth”. Following th...


... middle of paper ...


.... Print.
Gregson, Sarah. "Titanic 'Down Under': Ideology, Myth and Memorialization." Social History
33.3 (2008): 268-83. Taylor and Francis. University of New South Wales, 19 Aug. 2008. Web. 26 Oct. 2013.
Horn, Eva, and Anson Rabinbach. "Introduction." New German Critique Dark Powers:
Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theory in History and Literature 103 (2008): 1-8. JSTOR.
Duke University Press, Winter 2008. Web. Nov. 2013.
Gardiner, Robin. The Great Titanic Conspiracy. Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing, 2010. Print.
Love, Heather. "Close but Not Deep: Literary Ethics and the Descriptive Turn." New Literary
History 41.2 (2010): 371-91. Project MUSE. Spring 2010. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.
Willman, Skip. "Traversing the Fantasies of the JFK Assassination: Conspiracy and Contingency
in Don DeLillo's "Libra."" Contemporary Literature 39.3 (1998): 405-433. JSTOR. Web. 10 Nov. 2013.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »