UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The theme of alienation in the prose works of Peter Weiss Vance, Kathleen Ann


The theme of alienation in the prose works of Peter Weiss is the focus of this study. Each chapter provides an examination of this theme from a particular perspective for each work. The first work, Per Schatten des Korpers des Kutschers, is considered as it examines the phenomenology of alienation in a detailed analysis of the characters' pursuit of occupations devoid of social meaning. The second of Weiss's works, Abschied von den Eltern, looks at the recurrence of the theme of alienation in Weiss's portrayal of the narrator's recollection of his childhood experiences. In Fluchtpunkt the focus is the dilemma of the alienation of the individual in the midst of political and social upheaval with particular emphasis placed on the alienation of the individual from the objective world and the subjective self. In Das Gesprach der drei Gehenden the ontology of alienation is discussed in terms of the characters' attempts to locate themselves in time and place through the use of social ritual. In Die Asthetik des Widerstands the ideology of alienation is examined in terms of the narrator's commitment to principles which require the assumption of responsibility for one's actions in the context of a larger world. The conclusion is that, for Weiss, the attempt to recover a sense of self in connection with the world is to intensify the extent of one's separation from that world.

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