Uncovering Wounds, Countering Obliviousness: Tragedy of Humanity in Herztier, a Novel by Herta Müller

Wisma Kurniawati, Setya Yuwana Sudikan, Agus Ridwan



The research is financed by Directorate General of Higher Education Ministry of Research an Technology as the organizer of BPPDN.


Fictional works from Herta Müller are regarded as documentations and information sources of socio-political life in Romania during the dictator Ceausescu regime from 1967 to 1989. Müller’s novel Herztier is considered as the most concrete in representing the tragedy of humanity under the practice of totalitarian system power. This study aims to investigate the tragedy of humanity represented in the novel Herztier, and the intentions the author, Herta Müller, wants to achieve through those representations. To understand and achieve profound result, study were performed on Herztier and the social and political contexts relevant to the novel. Therefore, as the theoretical basis, the Stanzel theory of narrative and van Dijk theory of critical discourse analysis are used. By the combination of these theories, the narrative reconstruction, directed at the narrator elements, narrative perspective, narrative intonation, and linguistic choices, also the contexts related to the socio-political facts in Romania during the reign of Ceausescu. The analysis shows two findings. First, the tragedy of humanity shown in Herztier are represented by a first person narrator. Second, through the novel-imaginative fictional stories-, the author tries to provide a means to fight the oblivion about bad events in life and to raise the awareness of the readers about the true reality. The public awareness of reality, in the future, can move them to actively participate in the struggle for a just society.

Keywords: tragedy of humanity, totalitarian system power, narrative situations, critical discourse analysis

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/60-07

Publication date:September 30th 2019

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ISSN 2422-8435

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