Literarische Wege zum Glueck: Die Repraesentation des Gluecks in gegenwaertiger deutscher Literatur in Kristine Bilkaus Die Gluecklichen und Schau mich an, wenn ich mit dir rede! von Monika Helfer
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In this thesis, I set out to examine how two contemporary authors portray the motif Glueck in their novels. The analysis is based on the novel Schau mich an, wenn ich mit dir rede! written by Monika Helfer and Die Gluecklichen by Kristine Bilkau. I argue, that even though the human perception of happiness has changed in terms of life circumstances, e.g. that people generally do not fear great famines or the sudden death due to lacking medical treatment anymore, the portrayal of Glueck in contemporary German literature is largely influenced by the psychological well-being of the characters in the novels. As there is a wide range of interpretations and conceptions of the concept of Glueck, chapter 2 provides the reader with a decent overview of Glueck in selected scientific disciplines. The selection is based on the fact, that the explanation of Glueck in the specific field should contribute to an established understanding of the term Glueck in former and contemporary research fields. As the research on Glueck is broad and connected to several scientific disciplines, this thesis focusses in the theory chapter on linguistical differences of the term, philosophical, societal and political dimensions, as well as medical handling when, in fact, patients show an impossibility of being happy. Chapter 3 is set out to recap the importance of the two novels in terms of their contribution to the happiness discourse in literature, as these two works have been chosen, because they treat the motif Glueck differently on the surface, but when analyzing the novels further, they discuss the topic thoroughly. Monika Helfer and Kristine Bilkau are telling stories of young families who are facing different problems in their every day life, and the authors add contemporary societal issues, such as drug addictions, life situations, and parenting to the discussion. Topics, that can be found in published research about Glueck already. I conclude that writing about happiness and luck is not supposed to provide a solid recipe in order to gain a complete understanding of the term. Happiness is a personal, individualized concept that every person has to define for themselves. Helfer and Bilkau caught a sense of happiness in describing it as being content, and thankful for what their characters actually be satisfied with in their life.
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Sabrina Maria Wuttke (2018). Literarische Wege zum Glueck: Die Repraesentation des Gluecks in gegenwaertiger deutscher Literatur in Kristine Bilkaus Die Gluecklichen und Schau mich an, wenn ich mit dir rede! von Monika Helfer. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13690