Stasiland Analysis

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To what extent are the lives of the people in Stasiland shaped by the Wall? In Anna Funder’s literary journalistic text, Stasiland, she attempts to explore the concept of how ordinary people (Former GDR citizens) are coping with their past of being encapsulated by the totalitarian nation. From the “greyness”, oppressive and repressive East Germany, many individuals experienced pain and suffered horribly by the hands of the Stasi (along with their project of constructing a wall which divided East and West Germany). Here, the Berlin Wall, then becomes a symbol of the division of two political systems –capitalism and communism; and a symbol of the oppressiveness of the State which represents the physical restriction together with the controlled…show more content…
People such as Miriam Weber, one of the central characters of the text, represent the existence of the Wall whom Funder depicts the profession as a Stasi officer negatively. Her poignancy illustrates the damage the Wall has impacted on her life to the extent that she admits ‘I was basically no longer human’. To Miriam the Wall ‘breaks her… just like fiction,’ and as a consequence, leaves her ‘unable to move on’ with her future. The magnitude of Miriam’s dire ramifications demonstrates the effectiveness and absurdity of the Stasi conventions. She is an obvious victim depicted the by Funder which ultimately exhorts the image of the weaknesses and powerlessness of ordinary people and strengthens the superiority of the Stasi. Nevertheless Miriam displays characteristics such as resilience and bravery throughout the text and finally near the end of the text is portrayed as a vivid image of her as ‘white’, ‘light’ and ‘comfortable’ which shows the extent the Wall had on her. Similarly, Frau Paul, like Miriam, is also victimised by the Stasi and of the Wall which became a structure that prevented Paul from gaining access to her rights, her freedom and ultimately her son Torsten. Their demanding need for control liberate Frau Paul’s conscious mind. They interrogated her, and left her with a decision to whether to work as an ‘informer’ or to ‘choose against [her…show more content…
Hagen Koch is a prime example of this manipulation. In the beginning Koch was ‘chosen’ to work with the Stasi as his father, Heinz Koch, ‘put [him] on this track.’ The Stasi has the ability to accomplish this by constantly importuning Heinz Koch to raise and educate Koch in the Stasi ideology. The outcome left Hagen Koch to grow up with the Stasi philosophy – to ‘protect’ and to ‘defend’ his homeland; a ‘regime [his parents] did not believe in’. This profoundly affected his life after he found out about the predicament he was set up in, and with a sudden lost in his identity, he allowed the Wall to act as a foundation of his construction of a new identity. The ‘wall that defined’ him undoubtingly advocates Anna and readers to consider Koch as a ‘true believer’ of the Wall. Not only did he grew up believing the Wall was ‘necessary’ he still lives in the past in his present life. Correspondingly, Julia is also a victim of the Stasi rule. Her involvement with her Italian boyfriend lead the Stasi to suspect her of ‘buck[ing] the system’ thus, the Stasi tampered with her education and job prospects. This is demonstrated with Mayor M reveals to Julia her ‘career was broken before it begun.’ Through these traumatic events, Julia feels ‘violated’, ‘distressed’ and

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