Erika Kohut is in her late thirties. By day, she confronts her unrealised ambition as a concert pianist teaching at the Vienna Conservatory, while at night she skulks through porn shows and spies on couples in the park, confronting her inadequate awareness of her own sexuality.Kendall Petersen seeks to examine the notion of power – including its manifestations and consequences – in social, sexual, and interpersonal relationships in “The Piano Teacher” by Elfriede Jelinek, based on an analysis of the three main relationships narrated in the text.Not only does it become clear that social and interpersonal relationships cannot be divorced from the dynamics of power which demonstrate themselves in acts of physical, psychological and sexual violence, but, more importantly, that the text narrates a legacy of female internalisation of patriarchal power which, ironically, results not in women who are fundamentally independent and self-sufficient, but rather in women who are, and will always remain, victims – disempowered, desexualised and dehumanised.
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