Trzy figury służącego w Lalce Bolesława Prusa

Magdalena Czachorowska

Uniwersytet Kazimierza Wielkiego w Bydgoszczy


Despite seeming disregard for the importance of servants in the life of the city and its
residents, in The Doll Bolesław Prus developed three techniques of presenting these
secondary characters. He showed old servants, who remained the invisible background
devoted only to pleasing their masters, and two new types of servants, demanding that
their identity and their own value be recognised, especially in contrast with the degenerated
aristocracy. These differences are visible at the linguistic level as well. Traditional
servants use conventionalized language and their presentation is reduced to some adjectival
expressions customarily used in descriptions of this kind of characters. Servants
of the second category use individualized language. The author gives them the floor more
frequently, so although we do not receive a comprehensive description of their character,
it can be concluded from their statements. Servants of the third category are presented
with a most detailed description. Prus not only portrayed their personality but also
equipped them with the competence to use the correct language, manners, and self-confidence.
These are the features which suit more masters than their servants. Servants
in The Doll are most often part of the presented world, sometimes commenting on the
actions of the main characters, and really rarely placed in the center of attention.


Bolesław Prus, The Doll, servants

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Cited by

Czachorowska, M. (2020). Trzy figury służącego w Lalce Bolesława Prusa. Prace Językoznawcze, 22(3), 59–71.

Magdalena Czachorowska 
Uniwersytet Kazimierza Wielkiego w Bydgoszczy


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