The core of House M.D. is its assertion that current Western civilization lives in a perpetual state of dissonance: we desire to have the rawness of emotion but we can only handle this rawness when we combine it with intellect, even if that intellect lies to us. This is the ontological paradox that the televisual text grapples with. Through the use of archetypal analysis and allegorical interpretation, this thesis reveals that dissonance and its relationship to contemporary Western society. Through House M.D. we realize that there are structures to the paradoxes that we live and there are paradoxes in our structures. Dr. House is a trickster in an allegory of American capitalist culture. The trickster metaphorically pulls away from society the rules protecting cultural values. Dr. House and House M.D. participate in revealing the cultural disruption of the current moment of Western society. While playing on the genres of detective fiction and hospital dramas, House M.D. is an existential allegory exposing the paradox that we can never be free while still seeking our own self-interest.
College and Department
Fine Arts and Communications; Theatre and Media Arts
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hagey, Jason A., "Truth Begins In Lies': The Paradoxes Of Western Society In House M.D." (2012). All Theses and Dissertations. 3264.
television, House M.D., Dr. Gregory House, paradox, western society, archetype, trickster, detective fiction, hospital drama, allegory, allegorical interpretation, capitalism, truth, lies, cultural disruption, self-interest, freedom