Your Loss Is Their Gain: The Corporate Body and the Corporeal Body in Richard Powers's Gain

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This essay explores the inverse relationship between the corporate body and the corporeal body in Richard Powers's Gain. The novel's careful anatomy of corporate and American history demonstrates that as the corporation (considered a “person” by law) gains rights, the individual is stripped of them. Notwithstanding the novel's fantasy of a sovereign subject able to resist this biopolitical incorporation, Gain makes it clear that in the neoliberal age the corporate body has narrowed its “responsibility” to increasing shareholders' profits, while the subject's responsibility for her newly “privatized” body has expanded with troubling implications.