Clichés and Stereotypes with Ionesco Cover Image

Clichés et stéréotypes chez Ionesco
Clichés and Stereotypes with Ionesco

Author(s): Gilbert ERNST
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Editura Echinox
Keywords: Eugène Ionesco; communication; stereotype; commonplace; automatism; cliché; sources of the comic; verbal slip; tragedy of language.

Summary/Abstract: In this paper the author analyzes many automatisms (clichés and stereotypes) that characterize Ionesco’s plays, a writer who wanted to show the ravages of what he called the "abusive language". The cliché is defined as a fixed syntagm possibly modifiable by adding a term that does not change its overall meaning (a rejuvenated cliché); the stereotype is defined as a statement reflecting the mentality of a given social milieu and which, with Ionesco, actually merges with the commonplace, even with the cliché. The author examines various methods, including verbal slip that illustrates, with Ionesco, these failures of communication which are one of the major sources of the comic in his plays. The article, which contains tables with examples, then tries to draw a portrait of the lover of clichés and platitudes, a portrait based on the relation between speaker / social environment, on the frequency of automatisms and the use of these. The conclusion emphasizes that by these various methods Ionesco’s drama illustrates the "tragedy" of a language that leaves little room for an individualized speech.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 07
  • Page Range: 48-71
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: French
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