Friday, August 31, 2012

Oskar's motives against Jesus

Oskar appears in the novel to mimic some of the qualities of Satan.  Just like Satan, Oskar goes against God when he challenges Jesus telling him he cannot play the drum.  Oskar does whatever he can to go against Jesus and the Church throughout his visits in the novel.  Oskar feels as if he is unique from others and better than Jesus.  He struggles with good and bad.  His music first seduces people, but eventually brings out their anger.  Oskar can snap and scream at any minute and cause destruction to glass.  Just like Satan, Oskar attempts to first seduce people but then his true motives always seem to come out.


wkuehne said...

The idea of Satin within Oskar intrigued me as I read the book, because while Oskar's actions mainly make him look evil, he does care for his mom, herr Bebra, his grandmother and even shows some emotion towards his two dads. I think that Satan "hopping up and down" directly corresponds with Oskar's sexuality. No neccesarily the fact that he is heterosexual or homosexual, but sex in general. Satan is always mentioned in correspondence with Oskar's "watering can", and "fizz powder" are always closely followed by a mention of Satan. Page 265 states bluntly "Wilt thou seduce me, Satan, with fizz powder?".

Laura N said...

Also, Sister Dorthea and Oskar named him Satan when he tried to rape her.

Maybe Grass writes about the duality of Jesus and Satan in Oskar's mind because humans also struggle with an inclination for good and an inclination for evil. Grass characterizes humans as "immoral," probably because we can distinguish between right and wrong most times, and sometimes choose the wrong thing anyways. (He probably has alot of evidence of this since he was involved with the Nazis in the past.) People have to choose whether to serve themselves or serve others, and Oskar consistently chooses himself, which is not Jesus-like. Although Oskar identifies with Jesus, he almost never does anything nice for niceness' sake. People try to do good things and follow Jesus's rules, but often hurt themselves and others intentionally. Its a paradox.

Tyler Dean said...

Yeah I agree with Laura, but I think when he "becomes" Jesus, he doesn't even have the intent to do good. I may be misunderstanding you but that what I thought you meant. I feel like he takes on these facades to lure people in like he did the dusters and to use them and manipulate them to do basically anything he wants them to do. He also manipulative the Nazis at the post office when he whines and cries and acts like a baby. Again, he only ever does things for himself, and sometimes he takes on these acts to get what he wants and to protect himself.