Unvollendete Geschichte - The theme of despair-Is that all there is to be found?

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On the first reading of Volker Braun's Unvollendete Geschichte, one would undoubtedly believe that there is nothing but despair to be found in the story of Karin, but on further reading one finds that there is some ambiguity to be found in Braun's writing. To begin with though, I will look at the more despairing aspects. The story opens with Karin being told by her father that she should split up with her boyfriend Frank, "Sie solle sich vorher von Frank trennen"[1]; as the father, who is a State Official, believes that Frank is polluting her mind with ideas from the West. The next morning, Karin rings Frank and says, "Mit dir will ich nicht mehr gehn."[2] This statement alone, from the readers' perspective, seems completely forced and unnatural and shows the extent of her loyalty to her father. Karin, who is only eighteen, has what Andy Hollis refers to as a 'creed'[3], by which she lives her life in the GDR: "Es gab nur zwei Plätze im Leben[...]. Auf der einen waren die, die ÜBERZEUGT waren und die andern überzeugen mußten[...]Auf der andern die MUSSTEN ÜBERZEUGT WERDEN."[4] To me, this sounds like a very strong standpoint for an 18 year old to have, but perhaps because of the political climate at that time, it was normal for young people to have views like this. One also the impression, though, that the father has moulded Karin into something that he wants her to be. Maybe 'brainwashing' is too harsh a word, but he has definitely had a huge influence on her political views. Almost as soon as Karin and Frank have broken up, they get back together again when Karin goes to M. to take up her Voluntariat at the Bezirkszeitung. She needs to find accommodation so she can start working. It is because of this situation that Karin becomes pregnant, because she and Frank go to

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