Thursday, September 6, 2012

Subversion In Tin Drum

It is quite apparent from his actions and perceptions of reality that Oskar could be described as: selfish, emotionally detached or indifferent, self centered, and ill-concerned. While all this goes a long way in explaining the character development, or really lack there of in this case, both physically and mentally, of Oskar, one might argue that his attributes are in fact integral to a message Grass may and and much more than not is making in his story. I find that Oskar's side of indifference and misplacement and mis-prioritizing of his concerns in certain historical situations throughout the novel attempts to pull the reader away from the severity of reality at that very moment. I say attempt, because I believe that Grass intentionally constructs his own failure onwards this motive. The reason being is that Oskar's indifference is so seemingly outworldly and uncommon that it is too absurd to distract from the reality of the situation, even if we may see it through Oskar's eyes. It is not in fact the narrators' story that is unreliable, but his perception that is. This is exactly what Grass intends for us to recognize. For one to recognize and easily discern the severity and brutality inherent during that time of history and in war in general past Oskar's depiction. But two, to recognize something much subtler from and despite its seemingly insignificance due to its unverbalized obviousness. That Oskar's take on what happened is wrong. More specifically that it distracts from reality, and subverts the horrors of the Nazi regime and war itself. My point however, is this "subversion" that takes place. It associates potentially with the subversion of history, which is reminiscent of the german government since the end of the war, in particular how it attempted to deny a holocaust and many other cruelties committed by the Nazis. I believe Oskar is an example that reflects a similar subversion of what obviously did happen.

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