Departmental Bulletin Paper 由起しげ子の小説にみる1950年代の女中像 : 「女中ッ子」を中心に
The Image of domestic help during the 1950s as seen in Shigeko Yuki's novel Jyochukko

清水, 美知子

(17)  , pp.73 - 88 , 2016-03-31 , 関西国際大学
This paper examines the image of domestic help in an urban middle class household as seen in Jochukko (1954), a short novel by Shigeko Yuki, the first postwar winner of the Akutagawa Prize. The novel’s protagonist Hatsu is a young woman with meager opportunities who came to Tokyo from an isolated village in Yamagata. The story unfolds along the axis of the relationship between Hatsu, employed as domestic help in a household of hardheaded people with little interest in others, and Katsumi, the nine-year-old second son shunned by the family.Conspicuous in this work is the attitude of the employers, who demand a master-servant relation-ship with domestic help under their command. This is apparent not just among the adults but among the children as well. The mid-1950s in Japan was a time in which improving the working conditions of domestic help attracted the attention of society amid a shortage of domestic help. The ardent desireof domestic help was for their occupation to be recognized as a profession. Seen from a different angl one could say that under the generally accepted view of their status at the time, domestic help were treated as being a step lower in social standing.
本稿は、戦後初の芥川賞を受賞した作家,由起しげ子の短篇小説『女中ッ子』(1954年)を資料として,都市中間層の家庭における女中像について考察したものである。主人公は,わずかな機縁を頼りに山形の寒村から上京してきた少女・初。物語は,他人に対して無関心で,要領よく生活する人間の集まりである家庭に女中として雇われた初と,家族から疎んじられる9歳の次男坊・勝見との触れあいを軸にして展開する。 この作品で顕著なのは,女中を配下に置き,主従関係を求める雇主側の意識である。それは大人のみならず子どもにも見られる。1950年代半ばの日本は,女中不足を背景に,女中の待遇改善が社会の関心を集めた時代である。女中をひとつの職業として認めてほしいというのが,女中たちの切なる願いであった。裏返せば,女中を一段見下げたものとして扱うのが,当時の一般的な女中観だったといえよう。

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