The Assault By Harry Mlisch Essay

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Jinu Park English A Language and Literature Standard Ms. Grieble 24.10.2011 The Assault Essay: Topic 1 – Violence The historical novel „The Assault“ by Harry Mulisch is a story based on the Nazi regime of Holland at nearly the end of the second World War. Anton Steenwijk was leading a peaceful life with his family as usual, but one day, Fake Ploeg, a Dutch authority closely associated with the Nazis, was found to be shot dead in front of his house, which leads to the killing of his parents and his temporary imprisonment. After he is released, he leads his life as usual, but then a sequence of events that uncover some disturbing facts about the night happens. Throughout the book, various themes can be found which Harry Mulisch successfully integrates, and undoubtedly, the most important seems to be violence. Violence, it both its most obvious and subtle forms, plays an integral part, serving as the basis of the story overall. First, violence can be found in its most obvious from in „The Assault“: in terms of physical violence, also eventually leading up to the claim that violence is playing an integral role in the book. The very first incident where such violence is displayed is when Fake Ploeg was shot dead in front of Steenwijk’s house, as it was known at that point until it was revealed that he was actually shot in front of the Kortewegs before being moved in front of Carefree. Before this incident had happened, the story had been going on in a peaceful manner. However, from this point on, it becomes obvious that the atmosphere becomes…show more content…
While providing the background, it also plays as a significant role in Anton’s life, in terms of its physical and psychological forms, and shows how traumatic experiences which include violence can result in one having to cope with it for the rest of the life through unexpected and probably unwanted chain
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