Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hiding the harm

As we discussed the different sections of the book today in class, we talked about the play in pill boxes during the Tin Drum. While the play is going on, Lankes open fires on a nun. (which is just morally wrong.) But Grass uses the play to diminish the tragedy of the murder. I thought this was similar to the Massacre in 100 Years. Both authors use magical realism to cover up horrible events. No one believed that the massacre even occured in Macondo, and they all thought Segundo was just making up the whole story. While in the Tin Drum, although we know the murder did happen, Grass tries to make light of the situation by adding the element of the play to distract us from fully understanding what just occurred.

5 comments:

Ravin S said...

Yeah, a crucial aspect of magical realism involves making light of these barbaric and inhumane situations. Marquez uses the floods that occurred from five years of rain to cover up the massacre and Grass the play. I also wanted to talk about the contrast between doing the moral thing and taking an order. I thought it was a sticky predicament that Lankes was stuck in. If he had disobeyed his commanding officer, he would be considered a traitor to his unit. He could face charges of dismissal from the service or even execution. On the other hand if Lankes kills the nuns, he would have to live with that sight for the rest of his life. We even talked about the next time Lankes sees a nun on the beach and his negative reaction.

War really does take a toll on these humans.

alyb said...

I think that Grass may have been making a jab at artists in this scene. Perhaps he was saying that artists shouldn't be covering up the horrors of the war (as Bebra's troupe was doing) but should instead be shedding light on it, so the world could know just what was going on. This brings me to the nude artist and his painting of Ulla and Oskar. The nude artist painted them as guilt and attonement. The artist in this case was trying to tell the people about the horrors of society, that is, that there is not enough attonement to make up for the guilt of WWII.

Shaina Lu said...

I agree that art, for example magic realism, can be used to hide horrible events as Mallory and Ravin pointed out. It can also be used to display the barbarities of life as as Aly mentioned. However, I think art is most important as coping mechanism in this novel and throughout history. For example, in the beginning, Oskar isolates himself with his drum when he just can't deal with Agnes, Matzerath, and Jan. Furthermore, throughout history people have turned to various forms of art such as authors, like Marquez and Grass, who chose to write about the horrific events they experienced.

Mallory said...

Oskar uses his drum as both a coping mechanism as well as something destructive. He destroys himself as well as others with his drum, such as Jan, who had to go back to the post office to pick p his drum when it was being taken by the Nazis. Also he claims his drum drives his mother insane and into suicide. His drum also allows him to escape from being accountability from all the things he did. He uses the drum to hide behind things just like many people use art to hide the tragedy of war.

christine said...

I agree with what mallory said. oskar also uses his drum to symbolize responsibility. For example, as aly mentioned, when the nude artist portrayed oskar as guilt, he asked oskar to hold his drum. oskar refused because to him, his drum symbolized the responsibility of guilt and accountability. he gives in however, happy that he can put this responsibility in the hands of the artist. he is very childish.