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    Cutcan, Simona (2012) LA DIFFÉRENCE DES SEXES DANS L’OEUVRE D’AGOTA KRISTOF. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Agota Kristof’s fictional world shows human existence as pointless and her main characters’ lives are defined by loss of vital relationships, nostalgia and lack of meaning. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the female characters and their personal relationships. Until now, the critics have focused on the trilogy, with its rhizomatic structure and portrayal of the dislocation of exile, and have neglected her plays, short stories and autobiography. In our study, the texts were analysed through the framework of materialist feminism, examining issues of women’s subordination in society and the family, of which the most extreme form is prostitution. In order to highlight the lack of female voice or perspective in the texts, narratology was used, with an emphasis on voice and focalisation. The textual analysis undertaken shows that, from this perspective, her work can be divided into two different periods. The first one contains her earlier writing in the form of the short stories and plays, where, in a few stories, women are unhappy with their position in the family. The second period contains her novels, which foreground the male characters’ experience of separation and loss. Our principal conclusion was that women are portrayed in their secondary roles of wives and mothers, while men are dominant as narrators, writers, and protagonists; this reflects the traditional patriarchal dichotomy. There is, however, an interrogation of traditional gender roles: male characters are weak and marginal, while in some texts, women’s life in the family is represented as a prison from which they want to escape. When the texts do focus on the individual woman’s experience and voice, they underline the internal conflict between her aspirations and prescribed roles, which in some cases leads to violence against the husband and can be seen as subversive.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: women’s subordination; gender roles; questioning of patriarchy; exile;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > French
    Item ID: 5667
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2015 15:34
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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