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WLIT 017 (16)
Lecture 15

WLIT 017 Lecture 15: The Girl and the Children
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Department
World Literature
Course
WLIT 017
Professor
Schreckenberger
Semester
Spring

Description
The Girl and the Children Tuesday, April 18, 2017 12:27 PM 4/4 "The Girl and the Children" Political/historical Background • Yom Kippur War (Oct1973) - fought from 0ct 6- 26, 1973 by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel • Goal wasto recapture part of the territories whichthey lost to the Israelis back in the Si-Day war • The war began w/ a surprisejoint attack by Egypt and Syriaon the Jewishholiday of YomKippur • Egypt and Syria crossedthecease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights, respectively • Eventually Arab forces were defeated by Israel and there were no significantterritorial changes Main Conflict • Young German Jew is leaving his non-Jewishlover todefend the fledging nation-state ofIsrael.This pits thebelief systemofthe "girl" whodoes not "find wars original at all" against that of a German Jew who believes that participating in a war to protect Israel is different from all other conflicts and demands his participation This reflects • The difficult relationship b/t German and Jews • The definition of the 2 protagonists by their historical heritage • The girls rejection of nationalism reflects the difficulty of a positive identification with the German natio-state after the atrocities ofthe holocaust • Her German Jewishboyfriend's support for Israeli nationalism is also drawn from the events of the holocaus-tthe Jewishppl need a nation - statethatwill providethem safehaven inthecaseofanother holocaust 1.Defition of Nationalism (Webster's) • Nationalism - loyalty and devotion to a nation, especially: a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups • This is the definition if nationalism that the German protagonist reacts to (based on Germany's history) • Is it also the definition of the German Jewishprotagonist? His ties to Israeli nationalism is cause by the oppression that characterizes Jewish primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups • This is the definition if nationalism that the German protagonist reacts to (based on Germany's history) • Is it also the definition of the German Jewishprotagonist? His ties to Israeli nationalism is causeby the oppression that characterizes Jewish history 2.Definition of Nationalism (Nationalism 101, The Gazette 17 Feb. 1996) • The nation-state offers mostofits members astronger senseof security, belonging or affiliation, and even personal identity that does any alternative large group • These are positive characteristics of nationalism that would be important reasons for fighting to protect the nation-state Contradictions • The German Jew does not associatesecurity or belonging with Israel • Israel is a sourceof fear (all the fears that the narrator lists in his "Roget's International Thesaurus of Fear" stem from his experiences In the Six Day War) • Also does not feel at home in Israel - returns to Munich to study 3.Definition of Nationalism: Language as a sign of belonging • "belonging also means being recognized and being understood… ppl in short'speakyourlanguage.' this is whythe protectionand defenseofa nation's language =is such a deeply emotional nationalist cause, for it is language, more than land and history, which provides the essential form of belonging, which is to be understood." (Michael IgnatiefBf,lood and Belonging quoted in "Nationalism 101") • When asked why he is not staying, he says "I can hardly decipher the streetsigns" If the narrator does not belong in Israel- why does he risk his life fighting for the country? • Not for personal gain but to protect it as a safe haven for all future gene
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