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Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros Analysis

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Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros Analysis

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Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros Analysis

i. Introduction

Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros was composed in1959 after World War II had finished and at the Cold War approach in Europe. The play can be scrutinized as a moral story of the Cold War socialist disposition of the radicals in Paris and the attack of the Romanian youth into dictatorship in the last part of the 1930s. The Cold War was a time of perplexing and polarizing encounters for Europe, as its governmental issues turned out to be increasingly more contrastingly philosophical. The air of the whole landmass was politically tense, trapped in a philosophical clash (Danner 217). The financial situation of Europe also was influenced by the War.

Further destabilization in the positions prompted the multiplication of a few new philosophies and propaganda’s, rising quicker than at any other time. "The fundamental clash of the time is not believed to lie between one worth framework and another, one philosophy and another, however between oneself and the world. Ionesco advances this battle between oneself and the world, the inner and the outside, and investigates how traditionalist and extremist belief systems escalated this battle in that specific time through the sensational medium. The play exposes the oppression through the ideologies, dictatorial and conformist nature that subconsciously or consciously transformed persons into mindless puppets.

Rhinoceros has a solid political oppression. This play is an assault on all Totalitarian and Conformist philosophies, including Fascism and outrageous types of Communism rehearsed by the Nazis in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and the Red Guards in Rumania. Ionesco is against a wide range of belief systems. He is by all accounts supporting the insight that socialism, similar to despotism or some other philosophy like Nazism, is a variation of an extremist political way of thinking and belief system, which checks and discourages human opportunity (Danner 208). In Rhinoceros, tyranny is represented as an illness that shows and changes innovative individuals into primitive rhinoceroses; Ionesco here tries to assault a wide range of aggregate action dependent on neglectful activity, and this assault changes his play into a solid political assertion.

Leonard Pronko, conveying forward a comparative contention, pronounces that "The importance of Rhinoceros is sufficiently clear”. Ionesco regrets the absence of autonomy, free idea, and singularity that bring about the authoritarianism of some sort. “We can see that Ionesco play is a reaction to the bad belief systems that impelled during WWII, and after that during the time of the Cold War. Ionesco uncovered the authoritative powers of philosophies that, intentionally or subliminally, changed individuals into careless animals when he utilizes and imagines these Rhinos in the content. The Rhinos illustrates the mistreated gatherings and the people who had to surrender to the aggregate agitation, which was encouraged by fundamentalist and extremist belief systems. The accompanying lines are from a meeting given by Ionesco, portraying his situation encompassing the fall of his kindred erudite people to those traditionalist philosophies:

"Indeed. My childhood was spent halfway in France, incompletely in Romania, where I saw the incubating of the Nazi development. Around then, everyone was a Nazi. Similarly, today everyone is a limit, Leftist. On the off chance that somebody said he was a Democrat, he would have been lynched, and the best spirits of the time, the erudite people, were Fascists, similarly as the erudite people of today are Leftists (Sutton 240)."

Ionesco, a pained man of his occasions, had seen the fall of his fellow individuals into a pit of imprudent movement which delivered them silly without any contemplations and assessments of their own. He watched the local scholarly area capitulate to intelligent control and, as Althusser puts it, philosophical interpellation. This careless faithfulness among the majority summoning their most fierce commitment to any conviction framework without judicious idea upset him significantly. In the play, utilizing current theater procedures and cutting-edge structure styles, inundated in parody, was his reaction to portraying and uncovering this innate issue in the Western world.

The play gives the hallucination of being established in an existentialist custom, however, it is as much about the pointlessness and silliness of the human condition about our recorded limit concerning remorselessness and hostility as a race. Through an extraordinary short parody, Ionesco builds up the limit of humankind to submit the main bizarre activities. Rhinoceros is saturated with carnal moans, blows, and panicky and credulous human weakness, showing us how it feels to have one's character sabotaged and defamed (Sutton 243). At the point when an individual transforms himself into a rhinoceros, he joyfully gives up his convictions, expectations, and yearnings to credit to an incredible group.

ii. Racial Stereotypes

The accentuation of race in the play communicates a solid hatred for dictatorship's assumptions to racial predominance. As the characters banter all through the First Act and attempts to order the Rhinos as of Asian or African assortment dependent on the number of horns they have, one can detect the fundamental current behind the discussion has to do with more than expected characterization and classification of the creatures. The character who most intently mimics the course of one-party rule is Beranger’s companion, Jean (Bennett 27). Jean is a bigot, uncovering himself to be the individual who judges individuals by the shade of their skin or in the play based on the number of horns they have.

The European supremacist mindset builds the pictures of the Jews, who are hostile to Semitic, as the Devils and evil spirits. Jean had endured because of the general public, and his work in the industrialist pioneer world has burglarized him off of his singularity. This interaction made him helpless, and turned into a potential survivor of authoritarian ideologies" authority that expected to smother singular reasoning, sanity, and cognizance. Jean here represents the whole functionaries of the express (Clark 261). They are defenseless and can easily fall under the spell of the fundamentalist philosophies and convictions that are prevailing. Like the unlimited masses of Rhinos, Jean succumbed to such belief systems and joined the rush of extremist compassion like a careless manikin.

iii. Marxist Commentary

Ionesco does not just attempt to make an endeavor to assault social treacheries and investigates how the everyday society corrupts under pressing philosophical factor and traditional predominance exclusively through the emotional structure, however, the play contains direct assaults on the way of talking and rationale of the Romanian Iron Guard. The Iron Guard put together its way of thinking concerning the possibility that totalitarianism was a type of a natural law under the standard of which the true Romanians will recover and recover their predominance over the mediocre races which are sharing and hindering a similar land like them (Danner 210). Here it is perceive how the general public was bifurcated into equal parts where one was the prevalent one and the other second rate. This racial predominance can emblematically be perceived by a Marxist perspective.

The personality of Jean in the play is emblematic of the whole average workers, which is helpless because they are the lower positioning people inside the general public and are the including factors that have no character of their own, this weakness of the whole common made them inclined to the Conformist belief systems (Sutton and Ionesco 4). They promptly fell devoted entirely to its. This representative demonisation average proletariats and battle to liberate themselves from authority of the unrivaled races and the Bourgeoisie is portrayed by Ionesco in play.

iv. Ionesco’s Attack on Leftist Ideologies

Not just Ionesco is assaulting extremism, political similarity, and despotism in this play, he is additionally attempting to assault the belief systems of the Left, especially in France. Ionesco endeavors an unobtrusive assault at French Intellectuals who accepted Communism to where they began underwriting (Stalin Sutton and Ionesco 240). Liberal philosophy has so profoundly leaked and established itself inside the mind and brain of Botard that he cannot talk or have an independent perspective, his discernment and manners of thinking are delivered pointless, and he is left unequipped for making moves all alone.

v. Resistance in the Character of Beranger

Though Beranger amusingly gets away from the human world through his drinking, eventually, he is the only character in the play who hangs on firmly to his human personality. The fall of both Dudard and Jean is emblematic of the fall of whole masses inside Europe who capitulated to the mass belief system and gave no idea to their activities (Ionesco 2). The whole populace of masses were dazed by the conventionalist making them inclined to social malice like Fascism and Communism. Although in the play, the hero Berenger stays indecisive in his will, opposing the devastating tide of authority with the power of humankind, Ionesco observes the way that, in light of everything, one necessity the force and companions of others to vaccinate and safe oneself from social constrain and melancholy (Engle and Ionesco 238). An individual human who exists outside the gathering is less invulnerable and has no or a minimal character and personality, making the person in question hence powerless against an attack of a traditionalist, authoritarian viewpoints, and conviction frameworks.

Beranger, in Rhinoceros, is Resistance against the world – he is representative of the whole humanity declining to capitulate to the twisted pandemic of Rhinoceritis. Beranger is defective honorably gutsy in his festival of selfhood in insubordination of traditionalism or despotism. Berenger remains solitary as a dismissing trademark against the large-scale manufacturing and predominance of one philosophy and purposefully avoids marking himself into one explicit gathering. The completion of the play brings the impression of outsiders surrounding Berenger (Cameron 23). The stage shows the battle and obstruction against the traditionalist and authoritarian philosophies available inside contemporary society.

vi. Conclusion

The oppression in the play is portrayed in emblematic terms as a pestilence of traditional autocracy and conventionalism. The rhinos address a ludicrous world, a world which has neither knowledge nor reason and was delivered pointless and without reason with the loyalty of the majority with aggregate belief systems like autocracy. The picture of person metamorphosizing into savage and risky Rhinos asks to be perused as a similitude for something different, something which is more profound, more dull and evil at its center, something which the writer is not at the freedom to unveil or something so many-sided that cannot be named.

The dramatist needed to discover something other than what is expected to substitute the utilization the crowd chuckle. The play is set apart by a supposition that typifies the treachery of humanistic and political optimism, fear, negativity, and disdain inside the air of the general public. Every one of these feelings is addressed through the gigantic dreams of people changing into savage and primitive rhinos on the stage.

Works Cited

Bennett, Michael Y. The Cambridge Introduction to Theatre and Literature of the Absurd.

Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Cameron, R. "Rhinoceros by Eugene ionesco." How to Teach a Play, 2020,

Clark, Roland. “Collective Singing in Romanian Fascism.” Cultural and Social History, vol. 10,

Danner, Richard. “Bérenger’s Dubious Defense of Humanity in Rhinocéros.” The French Review, vol. 53, no.2, Dec. 1979, 207-14.

Engle, R., and E. Ionesco. "Rhinoceros." Theatre Journal, vol. 39, no. 2, 1987, p. 238,

Jenny, U. "Ionesco, Eugene: Les rhinoceros." Kindlers Literatur Lexikon (KLL), 2020, pp. 1-2,

no. 2, May 2015, 251-271.

Sutton, L. M., and E. Ionesco. "Le rhinoceros." Books Abroad, vol. 34, no. 2, 1960, p. 140,

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