The Role of Children and Childhood in Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck (75703)

Session Information:

Thursday, 23 November 2023 16:15
Session: Undergraduate Poster Session (AURS)
Room: Room 701
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

In contrast to the Enlightenment’s ideal of evolving humanity through rational thought, Georg Büchner’s unfinished social drama Woyzeck sheds a pessimistic light on worldview. Employing a multifaceted approach that amalgamates close-reading, literature review, and critical analysis, this essay scrutinises the significance of children and childhood within the narrative. The central contention posits that children symbolise a poignant testament to the ceaseless recurrence of human tragedy. The narrative’s underdeveloped fairy tale plot and the pervasive use of negative imagery foreshadow the futility of the orphan’s attempt to break free from the inexorable cycle of suffering—a futility mirrored in subsequent generations. Even Woyzeck and Marie, driven by their unwavering sense of familial duty, meet a fate of desperation. As this exploration unfolds, it becomes evident that the affliction of doomed destiny spares no one, perpetuating itself in various forms. Woyzeck’s son is naturally bound to tread the same path as his parents, while other children remain trapped within a perpetual cycle of retribution, reflecting the law of the jungle. Much like the enduring struggles of humanity in the play, the portrayal of similar issues including the unchanging social classes in developed societies reflects the challenges that persist in our modern world.

Helen Chen, University College London, United Kingdom

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Helen Chen is a University Undergraduate Student at University College London in United Kingdom

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00