Representation of Duty as an Object of Manipulation in The Bone Clocks and The Buried Giant

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate, Department of English Language and Literature, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


Deontological ethics emphasizes the connection between duty and the morality of human conduct; nevertheless, Mitchell and Ishiguro touch on a different form of duty, which disagrees with the deontological theory and demonstrates that it is in one’s interest. Mitchell in The Bone Clocks suggests that one’s only duty in life is “to survive,” regardless of what may happen to others, but Ishiguro contends in The Buried Giant that failing to fulfill a duty that creates a hardship for others will result in downfall. Despite the differences, they both agree that performing one’s duty is affected by manipulation and deceit. The present article peruses the concept of duty in David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Practice provides the framework of the study. Bourdieu believes that accomplishing duty seeks a social strategy to maximize one’s profit; therefore, it can easily become manipulative. The research eventually concludes that fulfilling duty in these novels is an object of manipulation which is esteemed in self-centeredness. Moreover, it delves into the definition of habitus to elucidate that it is facing a transition that is entangled with manipulation.


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