Virus and Visible Reality

Biopolitics, Crime, and Disability in Peter May’s Lockdown

Authors

  • Goutam Karmakar Barabazar Bikram Tudu Memorial College, West Bengal https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9119-9486
  • Jaya Sarkar BITS Pilani (Hyderabad Campus), India

Keywords:

Lockdown, Pandemic, Quarantine, Crime, Biopolitics, Virus

Abstract

This paper examines Peter May’s crime novel Lockdown (2020) to explain how a bioengineered virus cripples London and results in a crime, the denouement of which reveals a nefarious, capitalist purpose that is a stark reflection of the world we live in. The plan to use an artificially engineered virus as a bioweapon to profit wreaks havoc in London, resulting in several deaths, fear, panic, civil disorder, a spike in crime, and a string of anarchy throughout the city. By examining Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower and Giorgio Agamben and Slavoj Žižek’s perspectives on the ethics and politics of the virus, the paper aims to demonstrate how a virus transforms London into the centre of a global pandemic, compelling the officials to implement a lockdown. The paper also discusses how Lockdown (2020) can be viewed as a hard-boiled crime narrative due to the urban setting of London, the sensational and violent crime, the true-to-life description of events, and the male protagonist’s visible dominance. Additionally, the paper endeavours to depict how the disabilities of certain characters are inextricably linked to the frozen state of the city under lockdown.

Author Biography

Jaya Sarkar, BITS Pilani (Hyderabad Campus), India

Doctoral Fellow, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS Pilani (Hyderabad Campus), India

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Published

2021-12-30

How to Cite

Karmakar, G., & Sarkar, J. (2021). Virus and Visible Reality: Biopolitics, Crime, and Disability in Peter May’s Lockdown. Journal of Narrative and Language Studies, 9(18), 306–323. Retrieved from https://nalans.com/index.php/nalans/article/view/453