"Biste etwa einer von den roten Gebhardts?" - Identities between Family and Society in Klaus Kordon's "Trilogie der Wendepunkte"
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This thesis deals with the "Trilogie der Wendepunkte" ("Trilogy of Turning Points") by Klaus Kordon. The trilogy, consisting of "Die roten Matrosen" (1984), "Mit dem Rücken zur Wand" (1990), and "Der erste Frühling" (1993), tells the story of a working-class family in Berlin during the first half of the twentieth century. In the light of the important historic events taking place at that time, the adolescent protagonists are faced with the values and expectations of their family on the one hand and society on the other hand. This thesis examines their individual search for identity and how they position themselves in public and private spaces. First of all, I will clarify that the novels originally written for an adolescent audience can not only be analysed as educational and pedagogical literature but have characteristics of other genres as well. Therefore, different literary methods will be applied in order to analyse the protagonists’ identity construction. For the first part of the thesis the function of the family regarding the construction of identity will be examined. Values and moral beliefs are transferred from one generation to the other and therefore shape the individual’s identity. Especially the function of family memory and storytelling are crucial in the process of creating identity, therefore Jan and Aleida Assmann’s memory studies as well as Paul RicÏur’s concept of narrative identity will be adapted. The second part focuses on society’s role in creating identity. Social class and status as well as public spaces like school and workplace shape the individual’s identity. Considering the role theory of Lothar Krappmann, this chapter explores how the protagonists take social roles as part of their collective and personal identity. Moreover, I will apply the stages of psychosocial development by Erik H. Erikson to the protagonists’ lives and investigate how their family identity helps them to assert their identity in public space. The concluding chapter discusses the impact of differing individual needs, social requirements, and familial values on the identity construction and how the protagonists deal with conflicting expectations.
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Sonja Schaefer (2017). "Biste etwa einer von den roten Gebhardts?" - Identities between Family and Society in Klaus Kordon's "Trilogie der Wendepunkte". UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/11228