Chapter Analysis: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

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“Analyse Chapter 22 of Heinrich Boll’s The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum: Parody of Press”

The style of Heinrich Böll’s novella is that of a police report; a documentation of the events regarding the case of Katharina Blum. This allows the author to take the position of an omniscient observer or researcher, although his information is limited by the details the characters depart and the reliability of his sources. This style is used in contrast to that of the media - which Böll exposes to distort the truth – by reporting each event with meticulous and almost pedantic care over dates, times and wording. By doing so, the narrator is allowing the reader to make their own conclusion based on the facts; however, he is far from being objective. This style allows Böll to almost comically satirise the frenzy and fallacy of the media by documenting with a tone not dissimilar to that of dry humour. In Chapter 22, Boll focuses on the hysteria of the media as it twists and moulds the events of Blum’s case into an inaccurate exploit of Blum’s personal life. The Chapter begins when Trude hands the newspaper News to her husband, Blorna, to show “Katharina on the front page. Huge photo, huge type.” The repetition of the word “huge” emphasizes the exaggeration the media has made and their dramatisation of small details: “KATHARINA BLUM,


The article goes on to state that “For the last two years, the Blum woman has regularly received male visitors.” The implication of this on the character of Blum is almost parodist as from the beginning of the novella, we can be certain that this is untrue; Katharina has previously been described as somewhat of a prude, nicknamed “the Nun” by her friends and very sensitive in regards to sexual relations (“... she said she would not sign any deposition containing the word "amorous" instead of "advances". For her the difference was of crucial significance, and one of the reasons...
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