The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

by Heinrich Böll

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:05 am

Comment on the relationship between Katharina and the Blornas.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29227
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:25 am

I think it was one of mutual respect and perhaps a bit of admiration. Katharina was a very good employee who brought order into their home and they rewarded her with a salary and a sort of friendly relationship - letting her take part in their parties after her work was finished, helping her with the purchase of her apartment, and so forth. I think it was typical of what one would hope for between a good employee and good employers but don't often see.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:37 pm

This is true. I'd like to have employers like that. Anyone else have an opinion?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

RamblinRebel
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Chicago or thereabouts

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:38 am

I agree, nebraska. It also struck me as an almost a paternal relationship. Like they had kind-of taken this young girl under their wing. They helped, defended and protected her, much like you would for your own child.

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3301
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:41 pm

Yeah, I agree with that, rather paternalistic and therefore protective. I can't imagine such a relationship here between a couple and the woman who works for them. It's very old fashioned, something you see in old movies when the employee is often of another race or a dramatically different social class. It feels a little uncomfortable to me, as it seems to presume a degree of ineptness on the part of Katharina. And at the same time I began to wonder whether the Blornas were reacting to Katharina's personality? She is a very innocent woman, you know? So maybe they were feeling protective in a good way?? As if they knew Katharina couldn't make her way through the sort of intense questioning and then rabidly intrusive campaign of the media?

I also wonder whether German employer/employee relationships were more like this in the late 1960s -1970s? Even the thought of a young woman grooming herself to work in the home of someone. Most people who work as 'help' do so because that is the work that is available; it's not a chosen thing, something to consciously persue.

By the by, my own Irish grandmother worked in the mayor of Newark, New Jersey's house as a young girl -- upstairs maid. By the time I was able to really think about the many questions I would have liked to ask her, she was gone.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
Buster
Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:07 am

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Buster » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:23 am

I wonder if Katharina wasn't kind of glad to go to jail in order to get away from the Blornas. It can be very oppressive to be under such hovering and, well, paternalistic, protection. Being a recipient of the charitable indulgences of others might have been very galling to someone who was proud of taking care of her own needs.
I think Katharina may have found it stifling and restricting, always having to live up to the image of "deserving underling", and I'm not at all surprised that she responded by over-reacting, instantly taken by a man who just saw her as a human being.

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29227
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:31 am

Buster wrote:I wonder if Katharina wasn't kind of glad to go to jail in order to get away from the Blornas. It can be very oppressive to be under such hovering and, well, paternalistic, protection. Being a recipient of the charitable indulgences of others might have been very galling to someone who was proud of taking care of her own needs.
I think Katharina may have found it stifling and restricting, always having to live up to the image of "deserving underling", and I'm not at all surprised that she responded by over-reacting, instantly taken by a man who just saw her as a human being.

Wow, I didn't get that impression at all. I thought she saw the practical use of having the Blorna's help and I didn't sense at all that she resented it. I thought she saw the help with financing her apartment as a good business deal that made it possible to obtain and pay for the apartment in a much faster way. Its interesting how we all see things differently, isn't it, maybe how much of ourselves we put into the interpretation. That is one of the things that makes ONBC so fascinating. Not that one opinion is right or wrong, but that our take away can be so different.

User avatar
Buster
Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:07 am

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Buster » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:27 pm

nebraska, you're right.
I agree with you that Katharina saw all of the benefits of accepting the Blorna's help, and certainly she had a strong sense of business, as well as self-preservation. However, and again this may be more due to my personal circumstances than an accurate response, I think that Katharina saw, perhaps all of a sudden, a chance to escape from being dutiful, predictable and reliable.

(On a very tangential note - I recently saw a couple I worked for in the early 80s. They remind me in many ways of the Blornas, with their deep kindness and paternalistic concern, all given freely and with much love. Their response to the trajectory of my life story was, "Well, you always were wild..." :biggrin: )

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:40 am

Buster wrote:nebraska, you're right.

(On a very tangential note - I recently saw a couple I worked for in the early 80s. They remind me in many ways of the Blornas, with their deep kindness and paternalistic concern, all given freely and with much love. Their response to the trajectory of my life story was, "Well, you always were wild..." :biggrin: )

But I imagine they love you anyway. :-)
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:45 am

nebraska wrote: Its interesting how we all see things differently, isn't it, maybe how much of ourselves we put into the interpretation. That is one of the things that makes ONBC so fascinating. Not that one opinion is right or wrong, but that our take away can be so different.

We do indeed, at times. You see, I didn't think Hubert Blorna thought of Katharina in a paternal way, if you get my drift. But that could be the jaded me coming out.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29227
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:07 am

Liz wrote:
nebraska wrote: Its interesting how we all see things differently, isn't it, maybe how much of ourselves we put into the interpretation. That is one of the things that makes ONBC so fascinating. Not that one opinion is right or wrong, but that our take away can be so different.

We do indeed, at times. You see, I didn't think Hubert Blorna thought of Katharina in a paternal way, if you get my drift. But that could be the jaded me coming out.

I think you are right, but I don't think he was ever going to make any romantic moves on her. I felt that his attraction was more of the crush than the love variety, more affection than lust.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #14 - The Blornas

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:49 pm

I think it was both lust and affection. But you're right, I don't think he was going to do anything about it. He was a decent person.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


Return to “The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests