Schnitzler’s Reigen, Wedekind’s Die Büchse der Pandora: Eine Monstretragoedie, and Thoma’s Moral and Magdalena reflect the conditions and gender interaction of their time as described in contemporary non-literary texts. Thus the works represent a creative participation in gender discourse. The plays side with social reformers who argued for more equitable treatment of women, including prostitutes, whom they deemed a necessary element of society. Rather than demonizing women, the plays expose how men oppress women. In the dramas, women are victims rather than victimizers, and male hypocritical attitudes cause women’s suffering.
Ruediger Mueller received his Ph.D. from Queen’s University at Kingston in 2001, and holds degrees from McGill University and the University of British Columbia. Since 2000, he is Assistant Professor of German Studies in the School of Languages and Literatures. His research interests include literature, especially German drama of the 19th and 20th centuries, and teaching theory. He received the College of Arts Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (2004) and the UGFA Teaching Award for the College of Arts (2006).