Idealism and Gunther Grass

Idealism and Gunther Grass

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Idealism and Gunther Grass

To live in an idealistic society is one that can only be dreamed. Many people want have the “ perfect world” but do not realize that the world is not a perfect place because there are so many different personalities, cultures etc… Gunther Grass (1999 Laureate) in his Noble Lecture: “To be Continued…” explains that he himself cannot be idealistic because of family history. Second, we live in a world where poverty exists. Finally, the Nobel Prize has ties to dynamite.
Grass first explains that idealism is not feasible because of the history of his people. He states “ I come from a family of refugees, which means that in addition to everything that drives a writer from book to book… I had the irreparable loss of my birthplace.”(19) Grass realizes that he cannot be idealistic because in reality he is suffering and he knows the truth of life. Grass feels that idealism has no part in literature because there is no way to separate reality from your writing. This is evident when he says “ There were extenuating circumstances: mountains of rubble and cadavers, fruit of the womb of German history. The more I shoveled, the more it grew. It simply could not be ignored.”(19) Grass is saying that when he writes it is to hard for him put out the realities of life and writes in an ideal fashion
Next, Grass explains that if we live in a world were poverty exist how can we be ideal. This is evident when talks about The Rat, a book in which a laboratory rat wins the Noble Prize. Grass is reminded how “ few prizes have been rewarded to projects that would rid the world of the scourge of mankind: hunger. (21) Grass feels that if we live in world were “ anyone who can pay the price can get new pair of kidneys. Hearts can be transplanted…” People should not have to be starving when there are resources in the world to sufficiently help with this problem.
Another way Grass shows that Idealism is not feasible occur, when he talks about how the Nobel Prize has its “roots in the invention of dynamite.”(20) Grass explains that once we take away the “ ceremonial garb,” we can see that the Noble Prize has “wrought both weal and woe in the world.

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”(20) This shows that how can we live in a place that is ideal when have things such has dynamite that has caused such catastrophic damage throughout time.
In conclusion, idealism is not feasible because the world has to many issues to deal with. According to Grass if you have a world known prize that has its roots in dynamite how can you live in a world that is ideal. Grass also poses the question that if people are starving how can we be living in an ideal society? This debate will go on until people realize that idealism is just a dream.
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