Heinrich Boll's Context and Lost Honour

1933 Words Aug 28th, 2008 8 Pages
Long Essay- The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum
Authors often use characters within their novels to show the consequences of challenging cultural boundaries and, in turn, display their own personal concerns. It is not uncommon for characters to reflect an author’s ideology regarding social groups in their contemporary time periods. It is clear that this is certainly the case with the 1975 novel The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, (also referred to as How Violence Develops and Where it Can Lead), written by the German Author, Heinrich Boll. The Lost Honour is, on the surface, an attack on yellow journalism and the damage it causes to the lives of the people reported on. However, with a more in depth analysis of the novel we are able to see
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Not only does it imply that Blum is a criminal but also that she is not smart enough to organize the crime itself. Ultimately Blum defies this suggestion by committing the crime of murder without any help from a male companion. In the process Blum is being punished for going past cultural boundaries by her incarceration for the murder of Totges. When looking at Bolls political views it is clear that he has a deep concern for inequality of power. His time spent in Germany during the Nazi reign has led him to distrust dictatorship, the ultimate form of unequal power. In relation with the treatment of Blum in The Lost Honour his inability to except the unequal power in society has led him to oppose the patriarchal society in which contemporary Germany was in at that point in time. The treatment of Blum after her struggle to break free from her expected social role demonstrates Bolls understanding of the problems faced by women and his deep concerns relating to them.

Personal experiences in relation to the male characters in The Lost Honour demonstrate Bolls inability to accept the social power held by strong male figures and their abusing of this power. It is clear that it is the males that hold all the power within The Lost Honour through the delegation of occupations. Beizmenne is the chief crime commissioner, Totges is a renowned News journalist and Gotten is a criminal mastermind. In

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