The incest taboo as anti-family values in Elfriede Jelinek’s Die Ausgesperrten Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Jones, Roger Dale
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
  • According to some theorists, the incest taboo is the basis for the formation of all society, and the family unit is the basic structure of power in which the incest taboo is enforced. Ironically, in Elfriede Jelinek’s Die Ausgesperrten, the protagonist, who is on the verge of becoming an adult, is forced to murder his entire family because it stands in the way of his accepting the incest taboo. Needless to say, there are severe problems in his family and in his society and these problems place him in this contradiction. Using Freud’s theory of the Oedipus Complex. I will reveal the nature of the bourgeois family structure and of society in 1950s Austria as disastrous for the incest taboo and, with it, for the fundamentals of society. I will also reveal how the eradication of the family structure allows hope for progress.
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  • Langston, Richard
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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