The Tin Drum
Günter Grass became popular after the publication of the novel The Tin Drum. In the novel the author criticizes the German policy of the first half of the 20th century. In the novel there is also the theme of human vices – those ones that the main character Oskar tries to escape, trying to remain a child.
The most difficult thing when you talk about this book is to write about what it is. If we talk about what’s on the surface, I shall try to write briefly. In the 1930s, a family lives in the city of Danzig, relationships in the family are very complicated. And a boy named Oskar lives in this famil . The boy is amazing in all respects. When he was three years old, he received a red-and-white tin drum, he keeps it with him all the time. The drum became his best friend, his eternal passion and his damnation at the same time. With his drum he can tell you any story, describe any person, take you through the years, move to another city, to another life. And Oskar is very little boy. In Oscar there are a lot of unusual and strange things. People who surround him, the events that happen to him, are no less strange and wonderful.
The whole book in general is a whirlpool of persons, events and emotions. Sometimes you can not even figure out where the reality ends and Oskar’s fantasy begins. Memories, plans, dreams, thoughts – all interwined into one unity. There are a few complicated relationships here, a little bit about the war, a little bit about a theater, a little bit about love. But every time the main ringleader is Oscar, every time he is the center of everything, even if it seems that he is not involved.
Who is Oskar? Or what is he? Oscar is a reflection of the society, of the people who surrounded him. Oscar is a terrible reflection of war and those vices that people hide so carefully in themselves. Oskar is a man who has absorbed all the evil of the world. The whole book is permeated with some associations. And the main of them: the knock of a tin drum is a knock of the heart, no more and no less. It’s not for nothing that Oskar repeatedly succeeds so masterfully “to drum” all the key episodes of his life.
It is very difficult for me to say what the novel is about. About everything. It also causes a range of different emotions – from admiration to disgust.