The image of a fallen woman in the plays «Narodnyi Malakhii» by Mykola Kulish and «Anna Christie» by Eugene O’Neill

in English

  • Tetiana Marchuk English Philology Department, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Keywords: fallen woman, tragedy, artistic structure of the play, illusion, image, doom


Aim. The article deals with the image of a fallen woman in the plays «Narodnyi Malakhii» by M. Kulish and «Anna Christie» by Eu. O’Neill. The aim of the research is to identify typologically similar traits of modeling tragic images of the fallen heroines in the plays of the Ukrainian and American playwrights, as well as to determine specific artistic techniques and devices caused by the national and individual peculiarities of the creative thinking of the playwright’s.

Methods. The research is based on the comparative-typological and cultural-historical approaches that made it possible to identify common and distinctive features of the behavioral paradigm of Anna’s and Liubunia’s images in the artistic structure of the plays; to study their ideological and thematic content. The biographical and psychoanalytic methods allowed to trace the genesis of the authors’ interpretation of the female characters in the comparative key.

Results. The comparison of the images of Liubunia from the play «Narodnyi Malakhii» by M. Kulish and Anna Christie from Eu. O’Neill’s play revealed both the typological features of the simulation of the tragic participation of the disadvantaged heroines in the analyzed plays, as well as specific artistic techniques and means, dictated by the national-individual peculiarities of the creative thinking of the authors. In the paper it is underlined that Anna Christie is a volitional woman who, having overcome social conditions, was able to start a new life in an atmosphere of love and harmony. Instead, Liubunia from the play of the Ukrainian playwright, having found herself in a situation determined by the social dogma, committed suicide, thus showing an example of self-denial and sacrifice that is typical of the Ukrainian woman-guardian. It is proved that the peculiarity of the composition of the plays by the Ukrainian and American playwrights is that with the development of the plot line, the tension of the dramas is amplified, culminating in an unexpected solution, in which the idea of the works is actualized. In spite of some differences in the final scenes of the plays, in both cases the authors emphasize the invincibility of the social gap that pushes women into crimes, and even suicide.

Scientific novelty. Despite the increased attention to the legacy of M. Kulish, in particular the play «Narodnji Malakhii» [Ya. Goloborodko, L. Zaleski-Onyshkevych, M. Korenevych T. Sverbilova S. Horob] in recent decades, up till now in the Ukrainian literary criticism no comparative research has been done in which this type of a woman would be studied in the broader context of world literature, in particular typological comparison of Liubunia and Anna («Anna Christie») has been made for the first time.

Pactical significance. The article can serve as a basis for further research of the Ukrainian-American literary and dramatic relations of the first half of the 20th century. The results of the study can be used when writing course papers and diploma papers devoted to comparative literary studies.

Key words: fallen woman, tragedy, artistic structure of the play, illusion, image, doom.

Comparative literature