Reaction Paper of the Three Readings

The twentieth century is considered to be one of the bloodiest one in the entire history of humanity. Therefore, it goes without saying that artists, writers and poets, film-makers, and other creators could not stay blind, deaf and indifferent to what was taking place through these hundred years. They led all that horror through their veins and souls, processed and reflected in some original, incomparable way.

Anna Akhmatova’s “Requiem” has been written essentially from her own experience. It tells the reader of how awful the conditions in Russia before the Second World War were. To be more specific, it tells how women arrested for the so-called political crimes were striving in long prison crews in St. Petersburg during the period of the Great Purge known as the Yezhov Regime, or Ezhovshina. The poem is a compellation of small pieces made of tragic voices of Russian women, wives and mothers who lost their husbands and sons. Here are the horrors of war, the blood of revolution and incredible cruelty of the Stalin’s terror. The “Requiem” is a kind of lamentation, full of sincere sorrow and righteous anger. It also reminds an elegy, having a strong emotional effect on the reader.

The play “The Endgame” by Samuel Beckett is an intricate reflection of the life absurd. The action is performed by four characters, Hamm, his servant Clov, and Hamm’s two parents. All of the characters are disabled and marginal, as is their way of life. Each day they live through is like another one, and each action they repeat turns into a ritual. The story is a symbolic picture of our life where we are lost and cast away, where each of us is an invalid, unable to understand the sense and cost of existence, blind to see the light and deaf to hear the answers. The play is full of sarcasm called for showing the fun of unhappiness. However, it does not make the play sound humorous, but on the other hand, dramatizes the plot and sharpens the contradictions of the age.

Hiroshima mon amour is an extremely exciting drama, also called for raising the absurd and humiliation affects of war. The story tells us of dramatic relationship between a French actress and a Japanese architect. The story is not linearly, there are plenty of miniature flashbacks and reminiscences to state the issue of memory, ability to remember and to forget the past with all its pains and joys. There is an interesting parallel between one of greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the bombing of Hiroshima, with the break of relationship and the end of love. The two heroes, He and She are constantly arguing, and their disagreement and discord is creating a painfully vibrating atmosphere, where love comes into conflict with misunderstanding and pain. Both characters are meanwhile united not only by the feelings they have, but also by coinciding lots. They both have suffered from the lack of peace and humanity, and there is a strong symbol of loosing hair.

While He has lost his hair as a result of the nuclear bombing, She has been head shaved as an act of public shaming for her love affair with a German soldier.
In this way, these three readings make up an intricate, emotionally rough, but at the same time artistically ultimate and gifted essence of the complicated time of the first part of the twentieth century.

Works Cited
Maynard, Mack, ed. The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1987. Print.


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