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Stoic Farmers, Silent Women: The Portrayal of the Icelandic Family in Two Novels by Halldór Laxness

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Nobel Prize winning author Halldór Laxness enjoyed using the "typical" Icelandic farmer as his protagonist. Always at his side are his family members, with whom interactions are often very limited and rather reserved. Within the dynamic of this stoic family, there are several discourses to be seen, all of which speak to the state of women and the hierarchy of the family in Nobel Prize winning author Halldór Laxness enjoyed using the "typical" Icelandic farmer as his protagonist. Always at his side are his family members, with whom interactions are often very limited and rather reserved. Within the dynamic of this stoic family, there are several discourses to be seen, all of which speak to the state of women and the hierarchy of the family in Iceland during this somewhat depressing time in their history. The minimal presence of voice is apparent throughout the majority of Laxness' works and is especially present in Independent People (1946) and Paradise Reclaimed (1960). A general silence from all characters, husbands and wives as well as sons and daughters, is an important element and helps to better understand the culturally reserved Scandinavian people, especially Icelanders.


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Nobel Prize winning author Halldór Laxness enjoyed using the "typical" Icelandic farmer as his protagonist. Always at his side are his family members, with whom interactions are often very limited and rather reserved. Within the dynamic of this stoic family, there are several discourses to be seen, all of which speak to the state of women and the hierarchy of the family in Nobel Prize winning author Halldór Laxness enjoyed using the "typical" Icelandic farmer as his protagonist. Always at his side are his family members, with whom interactions are often very limited and rather reserved. Within the dynamic of this stoic family, there are several discourses to be seen, all of which speak to the state of women and the hierarchy of the family in Iceland during this somewhat depressing time in their history. The minimal presence of voice is apparent throughout the majority of Laxness' works and is especially present in Independent People (1946) and Paradise Reclaimed (1960). A general silence from all characters, husbands and wives as well as sons and daughters, is an important element and helps to better understand the culturally reserved Scandinavian people, especially Icelanders.

15 review for Stoic Farmers, Silent Women: The Portrayal of the Icelandic Family in Two Novels by Halldór Laxness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This work not only gave an insight into the negative effects of silence within families, and indeed society, but examined the historical and cultural proscriptions against communicating any sort of emotions. This subject was also examined in 'Wasteland with Words', by Sigurdur Gylfi Magnusson. And where better to examine this phenomenon than within the works of Halldor Laxness? HKL was not only a literary genius: he brought to life the past with such accuracy and clarity. He is not alone in this This work not only gave an insight into the negative effects of silence within families, and indeed society, but examined the historical and cultural proscriptions against communicating any sort of emotions. This subject was also examined in 'Wasteland with Words', by Sigurdur Gylfi Magnusson. And where better to examine this phenomenon than within the works of Halldor Laxness? HKL was not only a literary genius: he brought to life the past with such accuracy and clarity. He is not alone in this, of course. Many other writers from the Sagas onwards have manifested this in their works. A modern example is the character of Erlendur in Arnaldur Indridason's Reykjavik Murders series, a man whose silence has had such a sadly destructive effect on his daughter in particular. The author has concentrated on the Nordic countries, and of course Iceland in particular. However, he does admit that it would be interesting to examine other cultures. I agree, for this silence is something that was quite common in earlier Australian and British societies, especially in men.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Winston Tuttle

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lorna

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vincent Odhiambo

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marla

  7. 4 out of 5

    Neff

  8. 5 out of 5

    BML

  9. 5 out of 5

    Diane

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carlos Esparza

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fabio De

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marielle A

  13. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  15. 5 out of 5

    Simon Zimmermann

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