Free Essay

Stasiland

In: English and Literature

Submitted By michaeltsi
Words 313
Pages 2
A sense of encouragement is woven throughout Funder’s Stasiland, yet grief overwhelms the positivity. The text comprises stories of courage and hope, but overall the reader is left feeling mournful. Funder’s anecdotes of failed lives highlight the loss of hope felt by herself and her characters. She uses structure as a means of diffusing the tragedy of her encounters, as well as symbolism and descriptive language.
A feeling of hopelessness engulfs several of the stories in Funder’s collection. Although Frau Paul essentially finds closure, her life is still overruled by the losses she experienced. Funder describes her as a ‘teary, guilt-wracked wreck’, and this shows that she is unstable and cannot find peace. ‘She seems wobbly’ and the audience is led to believe that her closure is not what it seems. Even though she has been reunited with her son, the relationship is tense and uncomfortable for Frau Paul, as she is still left with the baggage of the choice she made. Klaus Renft, the ex-musician, lives in a state of oblivion, yet he is ‘a survivor’. ‘Cushioned by alcohol, his landings are soft,’ and he uses his self-destructive habits, smoking and drinking, to escape from his nauseating past. The repetition of the colour ‘grey’ symbolises his relationship with the GDR. Klaus Renft has been damaged, and his only comfort now is music and liquor, a man ‘singing himself happy’. Karl-Eduard von Schnitzler lives in the hope of socialism returning, that and nothing more. He is in hiding, using his wife’s ‘maiden name, not his on the doorbell,’ so the people won’t disturb him. ‘”Nothing “angers” me!”… He is incandescent with rage,’ signals a man living in denial. His strong and overpowering beliefs in a world that has disappeared show that there is little hope for his future, and Funder makes sure that her audience feels it too.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Stasiland

...'Stasiland' by Anna Funder is an account. In this study she interprets an ignored history of everyday people from East Germany through interviewing and collecting stories of witnesses. In many sections of Stasiland, positivity is demonstrated through victims courageous stories, however a sense of loss is always present, overshadowing the optimism displayed in the final chapter. This feeling of grief which belies through the book is shown through Miriam who loses her freedom at age 16 and later in life her husband Charlie, Frau Paul who loses her son and Klaus whose career is lost thanks to the stasi. The way in which Funder structures her text also creates more of a sense of reflection rather than positivity. Miriam Weber experiences much loss during her life in the GDR, and her grief and suffering is displayed as a basis throughout 'Stasiland'. Miriam experiences her first loss at age 16 when she is imprisoned and loses her freedom. When Miriam describes almost being drowned, how she was called derrogitive names by prison guards, the way in which the prisoners were brutal to one another and how she was addressed purely as 'Juvenile prisoner Number 725' for 18 months, it becomes obvious that Miriam's story is horrific and far from being uplifting. As Miriam exposes the traumatic events she experienced in Hohenheck prison it is made clear to Funder and the reader that Miriam 'is brave and strong and broken all at once'. The grief Miriam experiences is exemplified as she......

Words: 317 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Stasiland

...is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland eass This is a stasiland......

Words: 645 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Stasiland Essay

...Although a sense of loss permeates Stasiland, it is ultimately an uplifting book. Discuss. A sense of encouragement is woven throughout Funder’s Stasiland, yet grief overwhelms the positivity. The text comprises stories of courage and hope, but overall the reader is left feeling mournful. Funder’s anecdotes of failed lives highlight the loss of hope felt by herself and her characters. She uses structure as a means of diffusing the tragedy of her encounters, as well as symbolism and descriptive language. A feeling of hopelessness engulfs several of the stories in Funder’s collection. Although Frau Paul essentially finds closure, her life is still overruled by the losses she experienced. Funder describes her as a ‘teary, guilt-wracked wreck’, and this shows that she is unstable and cannot find peace. ‘She seems wobbly’ and the audience is led to believe that her closure is not what it seems. Even though she has been reunited with her son, the relationship is tense and uncomfortable for Frau Paul, as she is still left with the baggage of the choice she made. Klaus Renft, the ex-musician, lives in a state of oblivion, yet he is ‘a survivor’. ‘Cushioned by alcohol, his landings are soft,’ and he uses his self-destructive habits, smoking and drinking, to escape from his nauseating past. The repetition of the colour ‘grey’ symbolises his relationship with the GDR. Klaus Renft has been damaged, and his only comfort now is music and liquor, a man ‘singing himself happy’.......

Words: 702 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Stasiland (Plan Included)

...“To remember or to forget – which is healthier” (pg.52) Funders Stasiland argues that remembering the past is important, to what extent do you agree? INTRODUCTION * Funder is fascinated by the question of how those who lived in the former GDR, whether believers in the regime or not, deal with the past. * For victims like Miriam, Julia and Frau Paul, recalling the past is extremely painful. Each has suffered experiences that some would prefer to forget. * Funder also possesses a personal mission: to understand how former East Germans lived behind the Wall and their experiences once the Wall fell. She is fascinated by people who suffered at the hands of the regime as well as those who worked for it, and their responses when the world as they knew it changed overnight. * ‘The stories of ordinary people’ PARAGRAPH ONE * Characters from the story who remember, that Funder praises * Julia - Julia is seeing a psychotherapist during the time period in which she slowly reveals her past experiences to Funder. She withdrew from the world after her imprisonment and experiences with the Stasi, as well as having to deal with the trauma of being raped soon after the fall of the Wall. Julia’s psychotherapist wants her to confront her past, in order to move on with her life, hence her search for the letters from the Italian boyfriend. Stasiland ends with the reader finding out Julia has embraced a new life in California * Miriam - Miriam has suffered......

Words: 2457 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Stasiland , Frankestein, Black (Quotes)

...Key Quotes to Memorise/Familiarise yourself with Stasiland “Ostalgie” “Vergängenheitsbewältigung” “She didn’t seem bitter about her belief in the GDR she seems, somehow, nostalgic” (about Julia) “German mentality” “A certain drive for order and thoroughness” “People were crazy with pain and secrets” “As time went on there was more and more work to do, because the definition of enemy become wider and wider” “I think it is a sign of being accustomed to such power that the truth does not matter because you cannot be contradicted” “Capitalism is above all, exploitation” “Everyone suspected everyone else” “When I got out of prison, I was basically no longer human” (Miriam) “Not one of the torturers at Hohenschönhausen has been brought to justice” “We’d have to shoot our own people. And we knew, just like under Hitler, that if we refused we’d be taken off and shot ourselves”. “Whether a certain time had been allowed to elapse before things could begin to be rewritten”. To dig it up, or leave it lie in the ground?” Frankenstein “Did I request thee maker, from my clay, to mould me man, did I solicit thee from darkness to promote me?” “A new species would bless me as its creator” “I ought to be thy Adam, but rather I am a fallen angel” “I shall satiate my ardent curiousity” “Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful” “I am an outcast in the world forever” “I am malicious because I am miserable” “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear” “”I......

Words: 482 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

The Lives of All the People in Stasiland Are Shaped by the Wall

...“The lives of all the people in Stasiland are shaped by the wall.” In Berlin, the Iron Curtain had many purposes. It was there to protect, to separate and to enforce a way of life for East Berliners. Firstly, The Wall gave meaning to people’s lives in different ways. It defined where they were to go, who they were to see and who they were to be. For the countless Stasi and informers, it gave them a purpose and an importance in society, and after The Wall came down, that purpose was lost and yearned for. Secondly, The Wall and the controlling ways of the Stasi loomed over the lives of East Berliners, and its implementation was just one of many extreme measures to minimalise Capitalism and encourage Communism. Thirdly, although The Wall was taken down in 1989, the detrimental effect of the Stasi regime on those in East Berlin remains to this day. The Iron Curtain “went up overnight” and disappeared without a trace, but the impression left on East Berlin has found to be inescapable. The Wall determined the lives and actions of those in East Berlin. It was the final stage in the Stasi’s attempts to keep people within the “land gone wrong”. It “went up overnight”, and people were instantly separated from their loved ones, their schools and even their jobs. The wall may have been simple for the Stasi to assemble, but for Berliners like Frau Paul, it was difficult to overcome the challenges that it created. When Frau Paul gave birth to sickly Torsten, the only choice was to......

Words: 1220 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

With the Collapse of the Berlin Wall, Germany Became Reunified After over Forty Years of Physical and Ideological Division. Discuss.

...With the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Germany became reunified after over forty years of physical and ideological division. Discuss the costs and benefits of German unification Despite the fact that there are few remnants left of the Berlin Wall and nowadays, it is widely seen as a popular tourist attraction, it is still very much present in the mind-set of the Germans as a bitter reminder of when the families, friends and the entire nation were divided in 1961. After the Second World War, Germany was split into four occupation zones with the Soviet Union taking control of East Germany and France, the United Kingdom and United States taking control of parts in West Germany. Similarly, Berlin was split into 4 sectors despite the fact that it was located deep in the Soviet zone. It soon became apparent that there were extreme political divisions between the Soviet Union and the other three occupying powers; whilst West Germany was developed into a capitalist democracy with financial help from the Marshall Plan, East Germany became a communist, socialist republic. In East Germany, also known as the German Democratic Republic, the indoctrination of Marxism-Leninism was introduced as a compulsory part of school curricula and the media became completely controlled by the state’s communist government in order "to direct the thinking of the people into correct political lines.” The East German population were becoming increasingly repressed under these economical and political...

Words: 3127 - Pages: 13

Premium Essay

The Society Was Built on Lie How Does the Funder Uncover the Truth

...The German Democratic Republic is a world built behind a wall made of lies. The consequence of these lies makes it very difficult for Funder to make sense of what is real and what is missing important chunks of information and what is altered by emotions. When investigating these stories Funder has to come to terms with the idea that some people are just not interested in knowing what happened and some would rather just forget it ever did. As years pass memories fade and accuracy is damaged. From the beginning Funder has to accept the idea that some people do not want to hear the stories from within the German Democratic Republic. When making the suggestion to Scheller and Schmidt they both believe “there’s no point” dragging up the “past” and that Funder “won’t find [a] great story of human courage”. Throughout Funders journey she encounters evidence of people attempting to put the GDR and its stories behind a glass wall and label it the past. As her journey begins to concluded it becomes clear that even the United German government does not want to acknowledge the past in its entirety, building a museum that presents a “sanitised” version of the dark past and putting “pitiful” resources towards putting together to puzzle pieces the make up the German Democratic Republic, making it almost impossible to ever fully piece together what truly happened. Years have passed since the wall came down, at the start of Funder journey it has been 7. As time passes the memories of......

Words: 915 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Essay

...Living with the past? Should we forget or remember? A dilemma - to remember or to forget? To perhaps gain "closure" from some past physical or emotional trauma by confronting it or by letting it go? Which between "remembering" or "forgetting" creates more private or social well-being? Or is there a third option? Forgiving - and is this even considered? Which provides "health"? What is "health" - freedom from trauma, management of pain? Can a "country" be seen as suffering "ill health"? Can a nation be diagnosed "healthy" or in "ill-health"? Does a "collective memory" embody collective guilt or collective innocence or collective amnesia? Funder's “Stasiland” provides a relatively balanced but personalised analysis of the rise and then demise of East Germany after 1945 and from Communist occupation to re-unification and democracy. Most potently, Funder "records" the personal testimonies (memories) of how both the victims and perpetrators she interviews were affected by such sweeping changes. As a journalist, while she may bias our interpretation towards the victims of the "Stasi" she does not glibly provide simple answers, but she does perhaps re-emphasise both the dangers of forgetting and the dread of remembering the past – the tyranny and fascism of Nazi Germany and the East German totalitarian regime which supplanted it - "to remember or forget— which is healthier? To demolish or fence it off? To dig it up or leave it in the ground?” Chapter 5: The Linoleum Palace: Funder...

Words: 1831 - Pages: 8