Travelling as a quest for identity in the novels of J. M. G. Le Clézio and B. Wongar: Walg and Desert

  • Jelena Arsenijević-Mitrić Faculty of Philology and Arts University of Kragujevac
B. Wongar, J. M. G. Le Clézio, archetype of initiation, individuation process, Aborigines, Berbers, colonialism


Novels Walg and the Desert preserve the motifs of the quest for identity, caused misbalance and the spiritual healing, as well as the notion to blend the individual into the archetypical heritage. At the very base of these stories lies the journey in order to achieve the spiritual reconstruction. Wongar and Le Clézio follow the process of growing up of their heroines, which tend to maintain the connection with their original being and, at the same time, maintain a connection with the world surrounding them, whilst succeeding in the process to resist the alienation. Regarding the individuation process and the archetype of initiation, this study is based on research conducted by Jolande Jacobi, Mircea Eliade, Marie-Louise von Franz, and Joseph Campbell. Through stories of the strife which their heroines survived, authors simultaneously write about the exodus of nations which are seen in the novel. The colonizers, in both novels, tend to deprive the people of their nomadic spirit, and of their connection with the very soil, which is characteristic for both Aborigines of Australia, as well as for Berber tribes of North Africa. Western world has been, in the visions of these two authors, represented as essentially violent and destructive. The exclusiveness of rationalism and of pragmatism leads to the dangerous waters of waywardness and to the creation of cultural dominance, founded upon physical, intellectual and spiritual submission of other cultures.


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How to Cite
Arsenijević-Mitrić, Jelena. 2014. “Travelling As a Quest for Identity in the Novels of J. M. G. Le Clézio and B. Wongar: Walg and Desert”. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology 9 (2), 483-511.
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