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Ch. 2, Under the Raft 
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Post Ch. 2, Under the Raft
The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass

Book one; chapter two
Under the Raft



Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:22 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
In this chapter Oskar gives us a glimpse of what his drum, his tin drum means to him. Oskar’s tin drum has a magical quality about it, he tries to explain as he writes:

“If I didn’t have my drum, which, when handled adroitly and patiently, remembers all the incidentals that I need to get the essential down on paper, and If I didn’t have the permission of the management to drum on it three or four hours a day, l I’d be a poor bastard with nothing to say for my grandparents”, (pg. 25).

The tin drum enables Oskar to continue the story as he tells about his grandfather.



Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:37 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
In the book, we are offered the possibility that Koljaiczek/Wranka survived and emigrated to the US. In the movie that did, in fact happen. Now I don't know, this is my first reading of The Tin Drum, whether we will hear more about Joseph, the defiler of potato roasters, but I like the suspense. He did not come up from under the raft, but maybe he found a crack in the raft to breath through.


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Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
I'm interested in this theme of being under things; the skirt, the raft, the table, and Oskar's hesitancy to be born. I'm going to follow this throughout the book and see if I can discover what Grass is saying. Is the world too difficult to bear? Why is Oskar always hiding or showing others hiding? Anyone have any thoughts on this?



Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
I think that is a great observation lindad. By the way, do you mind me calling you lindad?

lindad_amato wrote:
Why is Oskar always hiding or showing others hiding?


During this period there were many things people were hiding, and hiding from. The Jews were hiding, people hid their shame, their fear, their money, and many had to hide their anti patriot feelings for their country. Oskar decides to stop growing at three years old, he is hiding too, hiding in the body of a child. He may have believed that this was the safest shelter for him.

"Is the world too difficult to bear"?
I think a loss of innocence is difficult to bear. The horrors of WWII made the whole world less innocent. Life styles were changed, people's perceptions of one another changed. It's very simular to how many Americans felt after 9/11.

This theme of hiding is an excellent one to follow, and I will look forward to hearing your thoughts on what you find through out the book.



Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:59 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
Oskar hides from himself too. He often talks about himself in the third person.


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Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:07 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
sillyme wrote:
Oskar hides from himself too. He often talks about himself in the third person.


I've been watching this also and I can't see any pattern to it. At first I thought the first person/third person changes would signify some mood or outside influence, but they don't seem to. Have you noticed anything?



Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:37 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
lindad_amato wrote:
I've been watching this also and I can't see any pattern to it. At first I thought the first person/third person changes would signify some mood or outside influence, but they don't seem to. Have you noticed anything?


I've noticed this quite a bit, and this narrator switching becomes even more prevelant as the story moves forward, especially in the next chapter, "Moth and Light Bulb". This third chapter is one of my favorites and I think it will shed some light as to why this flip flopping is happening.

You mention an "outside influence", well there is one, it is the tin drum. Oskar tells most of his story through the drum. Oskar is allowed to drum away for hours at a time in the institution and this drumming brings memories to the surface for Oskar and tells him things. There are times when it does feel like there are two narrators.

Gary made a fantastic observation in the first chapter, this would be; is Oskar writing an autobiography, or is he writing a novel? This is an interesting observation because Oskar is relating events that he could not have any knowledge about. Oskar is able to tell us about the moment of his birth and is able to describe the room in which the birth occurs. How is this possible? Is he writing a novel, or is he writing an autobiography? If he is indeed writing a novel, Oskar would be a character, a third person character. In an autobiography, Oskar would use the first person narration. However, both are happening.



Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 2, Under the Raft
While I agree with what you're saying about HIDING, I think that the theme of "under" in this chapter is much broader... The narrator mentions being under watch, and his grandparents are under pressure to get away from the scene of the crime. I'm not sure there is even a word in the English language to describe the full volume of connotation this one word brings in this short chapter.



Thu Sep 23, 2010 7:47 pm
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