Saturday, August 24, 2013
The Tin Drum in The Tin Drum
Probably the most obviously symbolic single thing in The Tin Drum is Oskar's drum itself--it just has no reason to exist except as a metaphor, since nobody actually walks around beating on a tin drum day in and day out. It is not obvious, though (at least to me), what it actually represents, so I'll take a stab at interpreting it. Oskar uses the drum to bring up memories by evoking the sounds of what happened, so it possibly represents a connection to the past. However, the drum is also used, for example at the rally, to influence people and make them "march in step"--which, if I'm not just over-thinking this, is definitely in keeping with the events of the novel, id est the Third Reich. I don't really see a strong connection between these two: the drum as a metaphor for memory is more explicitly stated in the novel, but I don't see how it ties in with the historical elements of the book; meanwhile, I see complicity as a strong theme of the novel, but I find it hard to find a workable correlation between the two. Any ideas?