Sunday, September 4, 2011

Judas baby

More so than the parallels between Oskar and Jesus or Satan, I liked the Oskar-Judas relationship. His betrayal of his three (that's wierd to think) parents is such a strong part of the novel, that it's no surprise he is compared to yet again, another notorious biblical character. On page 229, Oskar refers to Jan's capture as his own "Judas performance". This is because he sold out his presumptive father, which inevitably led to his death, making Oskar's description an accurate one. Also Grass writes on page 338 that the statue of Jesus says to Oskar, "Dost thou love me, Oskar?" just like Jesus said to Judas. This second parallel again points to Oskar filling the role of not only the messiah and the devil, but the betrayer that turns over his lord to be crucified. Maybe this means Oskar is self-destructive...? I mean he does seem to want to keep himself in a asylum/prison... Also Judas betrays Jesus 3 times (THREE!! TRIANGLES!!) and Oskar betrays 3 parents (ANOTHER THREE!!) so the symbolism is pretty undeniable.

"Judas! Juda-a-a! Judas! Juda-a-a!"

^a little Lady Gaga..


Shaina Lu said...

I think the parallels between Oskar and Judas are certainly significant and strong as you pointed out. When we were discussing the "Dost thous love me, Oskar?" quote in class, I noticed that as I read I had hi-lighted a bit below, "Thou art Oskar, the rock, and upon this rock I will build my church. Follow thou me!" This is clearly a reference to Peter although I am not quite sure of the significance.

mere said...

Maybe it's that Oskar wants to be a leader using his drum, but he doesn't want to be the follower of Jesus. I think he wants Jesus to submit to him.

Ravin S said...

Even more of a triangle is simply how Oskar assumes the identity of Judas, Jesus, and also Satan. Yeah I think he definitely wants Jesus to submit to him. I was a little confused as to why Oskar was upset when Jesus began playing the drum when Oskar gave it to him the second time. If he wanted him to play, why did he get upset when he did. If someone could explain that to me, that'd be great. I originally thought that Oskar was pompous and thought he was better than everyone, so wouldn't he be happy when Jesus submitted to him? Ahh, Oskar is so complex..