The Convent School

The Convent School

by Barbara Frischmuth
     
 

Barbara Frischmuth portrays the convent school's authoritarian conditioning and a young teenager's struggle to become her own person in spite of it. The fourteen briefly-sketched chapters are a kaleidoscope of the confusion teenagers face when caught in a well-meaning, but unfeeling, legalistic educational process. Frischmuth has a superb ear for language as a… See more details below

Overview

Barbara Frischmuth portrays the convent school's authoritarian conditioning and a young teenager's struggle to become her own person in spite of it. The fourteen briefly-sketched chapters are a kaleidoscope of the confusion teenagers face when caught in a well-meaning, but unfeeling, legalistic educational process. Frischmuth has a superb ear for language as a repressive and an expressive tool. She adroitly blends many voices - of the girls exploring "certain" passages of the Old Testament, or of the nuns preaching a strange mix of common-sense survival techniques with outrageous strategies for controlling a husband. Life for the young charges in the convent is "schooling" with a vengeance: a rigid and authoritarian system drills the girls in answers to all the problems of life. Frischmuth presents the reader with the story of an individual who manages to find a voice of her own in spite of the strict pedagogical system which does not encourage independence of spirit or thought. In the final chapter we hear her for the first time communicating in a voice completely her own, marking the dramatic shift away from her oppressive tutelage to the first stirrings of genuinely critical self-awareness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780929497754
Publisher:
Ariadne Press
Publication date:
10/01/1993
Series:
Studies in Austrian Literature, Culture and Thought: Translation Ser.
Pages:
93

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