The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #20 Katharina's Response

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #20 Katharina's Response

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:58 pm

What did you think of Katharina’s response to the devastation of her private life? Was her action heroic or irresponsible?
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #20 Katharina's Response

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:15 pm

As a work of fiction, I was delighted with what she did. To me, it seemed fair and just and gave her the only satisfaction that was left to her. Totges would never be able to destroy anyone else with his distortions and lies. But of course, before the book even ended he had been replaced by someone else.

In real life, I know it would be more complicated than that and I am not sure how I would feel about it. It might depend on how close the situation was to me, if I knew people involved, etc.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #20 Katharina's Response

Unread postby Buster » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:29 pm

Or was it inevitable? She was pretty well stuck.
I"d like to hear what other people have to say about heroism.
I think Katharina was actually fairly self-indulgent. (putting on flame-proof garments here)
She was the trigger; not the solution.

An aside- A friend recently resigned from a town Board of Selectmen because he felt that they weren't abiding by the rules that had been set down.
He had served the community for over forty years and is well respected as a sane and impartial guardian. The local newspaper reported his resignation, and also documented his objections.

It is that kind of reporting that makes me believe there is hope,

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #20 Katharina's Response

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:51 pm

I think her actions were quite in keeping with the situation. First she is raked over the coals by the police, then she is shamed, her reputation destroyed, shredded to pieces. She can't even bear to sit in her old apartment, such are the memories of defilement at the hands of anonymous people inspired by the press.

She wasn't completely committed to the murder. She went to the reporters bar, "I waited in the bar for an hour and a half, maybe two hours, but he didn't show up. I had decided that, if he was too awful, I wouldn't even go to the interview, and it's true --if I had seen him before I wouldn't have gone."

When Totges shows up at the apartment and started coming on to her --the things he says to her are truly outrageous, "Well, Blumikins, what'll we do now, you and me?...."Why do you look at me like that, Blumikins, as if you're scared out of your wits? How about us having a bang for a start?"

"Bang, if that's what you want," and I pulled the pistol and shot him then and there.

Complete provocation. A traumatized woman meets her tormentor and has a gut level response that results in the guy being killed. One could say she had plans and didn't have plans. She was in reactive mode, not thinking clearly, on autopilot, intent on putting an end to the hell she was in.

Does that mean she wasn't guilty? No. One isn't supposed to kill. But violence does lead to violence. Watch TV crime shows. How many people would send Katharina to prison for her crime? How many would suggest mitigating factors were at play? Not a hero, not irresponsible. An ordinary woman driven to a brink she simply couldn't handle.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #20 Katharina's Response

Unread postby SnoopyDances » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:49 am

Well let's face it, if she didn't kill him, there would be no story. :lol:

Many of us have been backed up against a wall and came out swinging, but always in self defense of a perceived attack, either verbal or physical.

One could argue self defense here. She was "attacked" in the media and felt she had to defend herself, her honor, and others (her family, friends) that were attacked and protecting others from future attacks. He also posed a physical threat with his advances.

Were this to happen today, she would be "attacked" even more during a trial. Her character/honor, what was said/written, her friends/family...everything would be "attacked" again and people would "judge" her again. There would be even more stories written, more people interviewed, and the Internet discussion would produce another judgement.

Either way, she would be "victimized" again and again, probably for the rest of her life.

Plus she wanted to be near the man she loved and getting arrested herself seemed to be the only to accomplish that.

Responsible, yes. Heroic, no. Desperate? Definitely.


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