Collective Subjectivity of Literary Characters as Exemplified by Jorge Amado’s Marginalized Figures

Eliasz Chmiel


The potential of the use of the concept of collective subjectivity, in literary analyses, has been partially discerned by Mario Vargas Llosa, Gérard Klein, and a group of scholars inspired by Klein’s observations (Bellagamba; Picholle; Tron, 2012). Since none of them have proposed any systematic framework, the paper theorizes the concept, proposes an analysis methodology, and presents the results of a model analysis of the collective subjectivity of Jorge Amado’s marginalized characters and its relation to the hegemonic discourses of Amado’s storyworlds and of Brazil in the 1930s, respectively. The article also presents an evaluation of the concept’s usefulness for narrative scholars. As analyzing a fictional collective subjectivity requires a custom-made framework, it has been elaborated on the basis of Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe’s (2001) Discourse Theory, Discourse-Theoretical Analysis (both alarmingly absent in literary studies), the psycho-sociological framework for real-world collective subjectivity analysis (Fabris; Puccini; Cambiaso, 2019), and narratological findings related to Possible Worlds Theory and fictional minds (Palmer, 2004). The study confirms that the use of the concept as an analytical tool can shed new light on our understanding of numerous narrative art works, especially regarding such issues as focalization, perspective, ideology, narrative empathy, unreliable narration, and consciousness representation. Moreover, the framework enables us to: 1) describe precisely the particularities of the ideological profile of a fictional collectivity and the narrator’s/implied author’s attitude towards them; 2) relate this profile to the context systematically (both to the storyworld and real-world context).


fictional minds; hegemony and ideology in fiction; narrative perspective; unreliable narration; Laclau & Mouffe’s Discourse Theory; discursive struggles

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O Eixo e a Roda: Revista de Literatura Brasileira
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Esta obra está licenciada com uma Licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.