Power Structure in Spiderhead

The power structure in the drug testing experimental home, as Abnesti resides as the main scientist who tries to justify his actions. Which is seen most clearly when talking to Jeff, “a few minutes of unpleasantness for Rachel, years of relief for literally tens of thousands of underloving or overloving folks.” This justification followed by his need to get these answers for science, while he takes the blame of himself and saying he wasn’t a bad person. This oppression and deception forces Jeff to say “Acknowleadge,” to become part of a inhumane experiment. As this reading goes on Jeff does have aprehensions about Abnesti as he does these horrible things. Justifying those bad actions because of their past to say everyone is bad and he deserves it. Moreover he hides behind science to create a non emoitional response to the experiment so as to collect his data. This system of opression and deception rages on until Jeff uses it against all of them breaking free.

3 thoughts on “Power Structure in Spiderhead

  1. Danielle W

    I think the way in which you displayed the power dynamic is really interesting. I hadn’t really thought about how Abnesti uses manipulation as part of the dynamic, but it does give him more control. Not only does he manipulate Jeff, but he manipulates the entire situation by justifying his actions. Your post is very applicable to the SCIENCE/humanity binary.


  2. audrey s

    I totally agree with you and wrote about a similar idea. I think a power struggle is one of the main themes of the story and is shown throughout the whole thing. While each person has to say “acknowledge” in order to get the drug, they do not really have a choice because they are put in Spiderhead to make up for their crime. I really like and agree with your connection to science and the “greater good”.



    I agree with how you described this relationship and I this power dynamic is very interesting. I like how you said that Abnesti “hides behind science” because this demonstrates how he completely manipulates Jeff by blaming all the negative outcomes and harsh experiences on science rather than himself.


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