Determinism of the image of prostitute in the works by Goncourt brothers and Panas Myrny

in Ukrainian

  • Nataliia Yatskiv Department of French Philology, Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Keywords: determinism, subject matter, the image of prostitute, portrait, naturalism, realism


The article is dedicated to the typological comparison of the image of prostitute in works by Goncourt brothers and Panas Myrny. The aim of the article is to define genetic connections and typological analogies, correspondences and commonalities in the works of French and Ukrainian writers that will allow tracing the consistencies of the development of the world literature process, particularly, the correlation between theme and stylistic aspect of realistic movement. The research is based on the comparative-typological method due to the aim and this permitted to draw out typological similarities and distinctions in the elaboration of the image of prostitute by Goncourt brothers and Panas Myrny. The results of the research show that the image of prostitute is actualized in thematic range of literature with the development of realistic movement aimed at extensive discovery of social drawbacks in order to comprehend and overcome them. In the works by Goncourt brothers and Panas Myrny this theme is elaborated in the novels «Germinie Lacerteux», «La Fille Elisa» («The Girl Elisa») and «Poviia» («The Loose Woman»). The images of Germinie Lacerteux and Khrystia Prytyka are connected by the fact that both girls, coming from village, became the victims of the city. Another similarity in the way of development of the image of prostitute in both novels is the construction of the plot, the development of a story line by degradation stages, and the usage of landscape and portrait sketches for the image actualization. However, in the works by Goncourt brothers naturalistic paradigm, reliance on facts, observations, scientific approach to the temperament investigation dominate in the image of Germinie. Animalism of comparison intensifies physiological determinism of the character. Panas Myrny’s realistic representation in the novel «Poviia» («The Loose Woman») is not deprived of the influence of folk-poetic work, Ukrainian romanticized tradition that manifests itself in numerous phraseological units and floral symbolism for the expression of the image of Khrystia. Prostitutes are cruelly doomed to vagabond and it is explained by the fact that they are depersonalized in an urban environment, they become disgraceful shadows and atone for their sins in prison or recruitment in Jews, having lost the right for humane treatment. Scientific novelty of the article lies in the fact that comparative analysis of the works by Goncourt brothers and Panas Myrny is made for the first time, an unknown novel by Goncourt brothers «La Fille Elisa» («The Girl Elisa») is put into scientific circulation and this has a considerable importance for literary process of XIX century.

Comparative literature