A Hero in Our Time: Stories of the Fictionally Subversive Soviet Woman of the 1980s
AuthorBurns, Ladonna Michelle
AdvisorPolowy, Theresa L.
Gutsche, George J.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractCitizens who lived in the Soviet Union in the early 1980s did so amid a changing political atmosphere. For their extreme patience, they were rewarded with new policies (after 1985) that promised less censorship and more openness from the government to the people. The Soviet woman received special attention and promises in the shape of new reforms in the social spheres of education and employment. As often happens with political change, there were unintended results. As the policy of glasnost' or "openness" attempted to create and provide new possibilities for women, the unforeseen byproduct of the change was that a non-idyllic and even subversive female emerged in literature and society. This thesis will explore the prevailing cultural attitudes surrounding women before glasnost', as well as glasnost' itself and its policies affected the cultural attitudes as they related to the traditional woman's role in society. The thesis will also examine how glasnost' enabled the literary debut of the subversive female character, and foster this previously forbidden type and other prohibited topics. Finally, the discussion will turn to the immediate aftermath of glasnost' with some observations about the stunted position of the Russian woman in literature, and in society, after the breakup of the Soviet Union.This thesis will include brief studies of published shorter works-all by contemporary female Soviet writers of the 1980s-and their fictional characters. As the gender specific deep-seated beliefs, proverbs, laws and anecdotes connected to the "suggested" ideal life of the virtuous Soviet females are analyzed, the thesis will show how these fictional characters' behaviors directly and indirectly allowed Russian contemporary female writers to challenge taboo subjects within Russia through a new literary category of alternative women's prose.
Degree ProgramGraduate College