UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

La critique sociale chez Christiane Rochefort Ainsley, Luc


In the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir and André Malraux, Christiane Rochefort develops a social critique on the alienation of the individual in society. The study of two of her novels, Les Petits Enfants du siècle (1961) and Les Stances à Sophie (1963), reveals that this critique is first a denunciation of the system and its mechanics. Thanks to the prevailing ideology of consumption, which permits the standardization of individuals by standardizing their needs, the state machinery can exercise a closer monitoring on the human masses. Personal freedom is also denied on the social and family levels: everyone's own image is sold as a merchandise; there is no real contact anymore (transcendence) between the individuals themselves, and individuals and objects; at the family level, alienation is linked to verbal compliance and to the absence of all authentic speech, free of clichés. Thus, relationships are altered. Just as for their individual happiness, now they are filtered through objects and have lost their humanness. The other side of this social criticism, the critique of the social classes, touches the questions of valorization and status linked to the individual's possessions and not to his heridity. In the first novel the valorization of the proletarian woman depends on her fecundity while the upper middle-class woman (la bourgeoise), in Les Stances is valorized according to aesthetic criterions. Emphasized also is the importance of the woman's fight to maintain her identity and her freedom: a rebellion which deals with her sexuality and brings the end of reciprocal relationships in the couple's dynamics.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.