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УДК 821.15.13.430

В. М. Солощенко

СумДПУ імені А. С. Макаренка, Суми


Стаття присвячена розгляду психологічних та лінгвістичних особливостей зображення жіночих образів у творах Ельфріди Єлінек. Показано вплив феміністичного руху на розвиток сучасного суспільства. Зображено окремі питання гендерної невідповідності сьогодення.

Ключові слова: літературний текст, фемінізм, роман, гендер.


Статья посвящена рассмотрению психологических и лингвистических особенностей изображения женских образов в произведениях Эльфриды Елинек. Показано воздействие феминистического движения на развитие современного общества. Изображены отдельные вопросы гендерного несоответствия современности.

Ключевые слова: литературный текст, феминизм, роман, гендер.


The article is devoted to consideration of psychological and linguistic features of the image of female images in Elfriede Jelinek works. The impact of feminist movement on development of modern society is shown. Single questions of gender discrepancy of the present are represented.

Keywords: literary text, feminism, novel, gender.



Under the impetus of the feminist movement that began in the mid-1960s, women’s economic and political subordination and sexual exploitation have come under attack. The feminist movement has consisted of a variety of groups and factions, all concerned with the treatment of women but reflecting a range of political perspectives [8]. The liberal feminist fraction has sought increased participation of all women in economic and political life. The radical feminists see men as the oppressors and are concerned with liberating women from roles associated with male dominance – for example, within marriage. Socialist feminists hold that sexism stems from and is crucial to the operation of capitalism; they argue that men and women must struggle together for a socialist alternative [1].

The feminists’ movement as a whole has made many gains, particularly in raising people’s consciousness of sexism and encouraging women to struggle against social, economic, and political domination [8]. However, its gains are still outweighed by the continuing presence of male sexism and institutional sexism. In recent years a number of men have also begun to question their sex-delineated roles. These roles can be highly demanding, despite the opportunities and benefits that often occur to men in a sexist society. The responsibilities of manhood can be a source of stress. More equalitarian interpersonal relationships, in which both sexes share in confronting problems, should ideally reduce the burdens of being a man.

While women are a majority in numbers, they are a minority group because of their social, economic, and political disadvantage in comparison to men. Women are victims of sexism – the systematic subordination of persons on the basis of their sex. Sexism is displayed on one level through male chauvinism. This term refers to attitudes and actions through which males display their sense of superiority over women. On another level there is institutional sexism, wherein the subordination of women is built into societal institutions. Institutional sexism involves ongoing organizational routine in such areas as the economy, politics, and education [3].

Male chauvinism and institutional sexism are justified by the ideology that biology is destiny. This ideology holds that there are basic biological and psychological differences between the sexes requiring that men and women play quite different roles in social life. Women, allegedly the weaker sex, belong in the home or should perform only women’s work in the labor force. In order for the human species to reproduce, they must strive to fulfill the role of sex object. Despite the claims of this ideology, it is not true that differences between men and women require each to play such sex-delineated roles in social life. Gender roles vary from society to society, and role differences are largely learned being rather biologically based. Women’s acceptance of unequal treatment and the biology-is-destiny ideology has primarily been due to everyday socialization practices. From birth, girls and boys are treated differently in the family as parents impart their own sense of what it means to be male or female [6]. Gender role differentiation by parents helps create personality and behavioral differences that would not otherwise exist [2]. Parental influence is supplemented by the experience of schooling. From sports activities to curricula and textbooks, children are reminded of gender role differences. In the classroom and in dating relationships, girls are likely to find that successful performance of the female role requires them to avoid competing with men and to see themselves as something less that man.

Institutional sexism has economic effects. More and more women have been entering the labor force. Many are married; some have children at home; others are widowed, divorced, separated, or single. Despite their labor force participation, women earn substantially less than men. They are overrepresented in low-status, low-paying jobs. Even when they are in more desirable professional and technical positions, women earn less than men on the average. The labor market is divided along sex lines as employers take advantage of the biology-is-destiny ideology and treat women differently from men. The main beneficiaries of sexism in this case are employers, who are able to profit by keeping labor costs down. The drive toward pay on the basis of comparable worth could greatly improve women’s status in the labor market.

Millions of women remain homemakers. The economic value of their labor goes largely unrecognized. In the absence of their unpaid labor, men would be forced to demand far higher wages to pay for housekeeping and child-care services and would be more restricted in their hours and work-related travel. Employers benefit from this unpaid labor, for in essence they get two workers for the price of one. Meanwhile, business and industry appeal to the spending ability of housewives (and women working outside the home as well) by stressing consumption. Sales appeals attack women’s sense of personal adequacy and play on dissatisfactions imposed by the burdens of housework. Advertising reinforces stereotyped sex roles and seeks to take advantage of these roles. While such activities may be profitable, they contribute to the biology-is-destiny ideology [3].

Elfriede Jelinek was among the writers who laid the foundation for germane feminist literature and enriched the German feministic story and novel [7]. She was well known for her stories “The Piano Teacher”, “Wonderful”, “Wonderful Times”, “Lust” and “Women as Lovers” and others. Elfriede Jelinek was born in Murzzuschlag, Austria on October 20, 1946, but soon her family moved to Vienna [7].

Elfriede Jelinek was still a schoolgirl when she began to work to help her poverty-stricken family by selling newspapers before and after school hours. She became fond of reading early, and spent her spare time reading books. At thirteen she graduated from ViennaGrammar school but her family could not afford to send her to High school and for a year she continued selling papers and doing odd jobs. Then she went to work in a school in Vienna and at that period she began to write her first novels [5].

She was a master of the dynamic plot. Her stories are full of action and conflict. The episodes are depicted in the line of ascent, and the reader is involved in the action from the very beginning of the narration. The author combines romantic and realistic elements of narration [5; 263].

In this novel the socially oriented critical view of Elfriede Jelinek discussed. „…eingehängt ineinander und kompliziert miteinander verwoben…“ [7; 12]; „Unruhe packt oft die Mutter, denn jeder Besitzer lernt unter Schmerzen: Vertrauen ist gut, Kontrolle ist besser”[7; 34]. Attention is paid to the stereotypic images and clichés on the level of the relationship between a daughter and the mother, their influence on such a relationship and the significance of such influence. “Die Mutter beklagt bitter, daß sie alles alleine für ihr Kind besorgen müsse, und stürzt sich jubelnd in den Kampf“.[7; 48]. According to Elfriede Jelinek, the Nobel Prize winner for 2004 from Austria, since literature has never been silent about the problems in father-son relationship we cannot turn a blind eye on the conflicts between a daughter and the mother. “Das Kind ist der Abgott der Mutter, welche dem Kind dafür nur geringe Gebühren abverlangt: sein Leben. Die Mutter will das Kinderleben selbst auswerten dürfen“. [7; 89]. The author applies social-historical and psychological methods of analysis to these ends. “Erika kämpft gegen Mütterliche Bande und ersucht wiederholt, nicht angerufen zu werden, was die Mutter übertreten kann, denn sie allein bestimmt die Gebote“.[7; 112]. They are helpful in decoding the message of the novel. Jelinek’s aim to write absolute truth induced her to.


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  5. Солощенко В. М. Лексико-стилістичні засоби психологізації жіночих образів (на матеріалах творів австрійської письменниці Ельфріде Єлінек) / В. М. Солощенко // Наукові записки. – Випуск 117. – Кіровоград: РВВК ДПУ ім. В. Винниченка, 2013 – С. 262-265.
  6. Ehmsen S. Der Marsch der Frauenbewegung durch die Institutionen : die Vereinigten Staaten und die Bundesrepublik im Vergleich / Stefanie Ehmsen : Westfälisches Dampfboot, Münster. – 2008. – 112 S.
  7. Elfriede J. Die Klavierspielerin / Elfriede Jelinek. – Hamburg : Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag. – 1995. – 219 S.
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