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Week 13 The Tin Drum. Director Volker Schlöndorff The Ogre, The Legend of Rita, Palmetto, The Handmaid’s Tale Theme: the human potential for evil Theme:

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Presentation on theme: "Week 13 The Tin Drum. Director Volker Schlöndorff The Ogre, The Legend of Rita, Palmetto, The Handmaid’s Tale Theme: the human potential for evil Theme:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Week 13 The Tin Drum

2 Director Volker Schlöndorff The Ogre, The Legend of Rita, Palmetto, The Handmaid’s Tale Theme: the human potential for evil Theme: the search for moral values, the desire to try out power and keep power over one another

3 I wouldn’t call youth innocent, because I don’t believe much in innocence. I do believe in the discovery of evil, and how difficult it is to know beforehand what’s good and what’s bad. You find out after the fact where the good is and where the evil is; and there is no line that you can see clearly when you cross from good to bad. Everybody is just ambiguous, both good and evil.

4 I recall that we did pretty bad things, actually knowing they were bad. You spend part of your childhood trying things out: trying out violence, experimenting with inflicting pain on others, as well as trying to be good to others. I don’t see much innocence in childhood; maybe ethical innocence is something we acquire through life.

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6 When he was 11 he starred in The Tin Drum, which caused much controversy due to the fact that David was shown in sex scenes with an adult.

7 Characters Oskar Matzerath: a deranged dwarf storyteller Agnes Matzerath: Oscar’s mother Alfred Matzerath: Agnes’ husband Jan Bronski: Agnes’ Polish cousin, her lover and possibly Oskar’s father Mr. Bebra: a circus midget, the consummate survivor Roswitha Raguna: Bebra’s associate Maria Truczinski: a neighbor’s sister, who becomes Oscar’s lover, bears Oscar’s child and then proceeds to marry his father.

8 The Tin Drum Author: G ünter Grass Genres: satire, allegory, surrealist fiction, picaresque fiction, a fictional version of the theater of the absurd The autobiographical novel chronicles Europe’s violent history during the first half of the 20th century. It focuses on Germany’s role in that upheaval as the narrator records his experiences, first in a Polish city Danzig (an area between Germany and Poland, set up as a semiautonomous state after WWI), then in a German city, Düsseldorf.

9 Plot of the Novel 1. When Oskar was born, he soon showed himself to be an infant whose mental development was complete at birth. 2. On his 3rd birthday, Oskar, by a sheer act of will, decided to stop growing. 3. He discovered that he had an ability to shatter glass with his voice, a talent that became a means of destruction when he wanted to express his hostility and outrage.

10 4. Oscar’s mother, after witnessing a revolting scene of eels being extracted from the head of a dead horse submerged in water, perversely enforced a diet of fish on herself and died. 5. Jan Bronski was executed after an S.S. raid on the Polish post office where he had gone with Oskar. 6. Oskar became Maria’s lover and fathered her child. Maria then married Alfred Matzerath.

11 7. Oskar then joined Bebra’s troupe of entertainers for the Nazis and became the lover of the timeless Roswitha Raguna. 8. When the Russians invaded Danzig, Alfred Matzerath, to conceal his affiliations, swallowed the Nazi party pin that Oskar had shoved into his hand and died. 9. Before long, he began to grow (symbolizing possibilities of a new beginning in West Germany) and develop a hump (showing that the hopes are quickly crushed).

12 10. His postwar life took him to West Germany, where he was wrongly accused of killing a neighbor. 11. Oskar submitted to being judged insane and atoning for a guilt not strictly his, because to his own sense he was guilty by implication. (Taken from Literary Reference Center— powered by EBSCOhost)

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14 Food for Thought 1. Why does Oskar refuse to grow? Why does he choose the infantile perspective? 2. Discuss the depiction of the Nazi regime. Is it presented positively or negatively? 3. What causes Oskar’s mother’s suffering? 4. What are the functions of women in the film? 5. What is the drum a symbol of? 6. In what ways is The Tin Drum a Bildungsroman and an anti-bildungsroman?


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