Saturday, August 31, 2013

Aside from the fact that Oskar is a lunatic, it seams quite rational that he’d like to crawl back into the cradle or his mother’s womb. Living through the terrors of World War II, Who wouldn’t want to escape back into their innocence? If I lived throughout the holocaust and Nazi Germany, I know that I’d want to escape. By refusing to grow up and banging on his tin drum, Oskar can, in ways, avoid the realities of the war. However, it becomes inevitable to completely avoid and isolate himself from the world. Therefor, he is often forced to cope with reality and the world in which he lives. 


Amy Clement said...
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Amy Clement said...

When we talked about Oskar's constant mentions of wanting to return to the womb, I immediately thought of the poem we read sophomore year, The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell:

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

When faced physically and even emotionally traumatic situations, both Oskar and the ball turret gunner transport themselves back to a time of safety and innocence. They find themselves thinking to a place free from danger and protected in their own isolation, the womb. The ball turret gunner, in his final stages of life, embodies the very beginning of his own existence and thus comes full circle. Oskar, however, makes every attempt to stay as close to a time in his mother's womb as possible by refusing at all cost to grow older.

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

That's a really great point. I never thought of Oskar wanting to escape back into the womb as a coping (or not coping) mechanism for the reality of war. I always looked at his desire to escape as being a cowardly way for him to avoid responsibility. I basically made this judgement based on my previous lack of sympathy for him.
This really makes me think of what we talked about in the Introduction; how Grass wrote The Tin Drum to process the Pre-Nazi, Nazi, and Post-Nazi era of German history. I think Oskar's compulsion to escape really contrasts him from Grass. Grass forced himself to face his demons head-on, whereas Oskar only faces his demons when he has no way out.