Stasiland Essay

1378 words 6 pages
Topic: "People here talk of the Mauer im Kopf or the Wall in the Head.” Discuss how Funder uses symbols to explore key themes in Stasiland.

‘Stasiland’ is a non-fiction text written by Anna Funder and follows the personal recounts and experiences of those who lived throughout the GDR prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. While the book primarily revolves around the conversations and reflections which Funder holds in relation to these stories, it is the authors remarkable use of symbolism which enables her to go beyond mere conversation delve into the complexities of not just other’s but her own experience in Stasiland. The use of physical motifs such as Hagen Koch’s Stasi plate are representative of the unrelenting oppression and control
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In this way, Funder has employed darkness especially in order to symbolize her own difficulty in dealing with the lack of security which she experiences throughout the alien and confronting Stasiland. In connecting to Miriam’s own story at the hands of the Stasi, Funder reinforces that anyone venturing into Stasiland - even if that individual has not experienced the GDR first-hand - can experience the vulnerability and danger which the Stasi forced on their people - two key themes of the text.

The strong presence of colours of linoleum and dark brown throughout the text further pertain to the personal struggle which Funder must deal with in lacking a sense of solace within the former GDR. In the chapter titled ‘...The Linoleum Palace...’, Funder notes that she suddenly and overwhelming is experiencing the ‘...predominance of linoleum in my (her) life.’ This statement comes just after Funder has met with Miriam and learned of her terrible story of loss and betrayal at the hands of the Stasi. Linoleum is used in this way as a representation of Funder’s despair at what the Stasi had inflicted on their people, something which Funder has just now become brutally aware of. The presence of linoleum throughout Stasiland is symbolic of the emotional

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