The Wall

A compare/contrast essay of the importance of the Berlin wall in “The Promise” and “Silent Close No. 6” by Monika Maron.

This paper looks at the Monika Maron stories “The Promise” and “Silent Close No.6”. In the two stories, the author tells us that The Berlin Wall comes to represent much more than concrete blocks built together. Throughout both pieces, the Wall represents the struggles each character goes through with their fathers and their battles or embraces of Communist ideals.
“Throughout The Promise and Silent Close No.6, there are references made to the Berlin Wall. Though the same physical object looms over the characters in each piece, the wall comes to represent two entirely different things within the context of each work. Within The Promise, the wall separates two lovers, Sophie and Conrad. However it is much more than a barrier, the Wall represents the teachings of Conrad’s father, the loyalty to his country, and the importance he shows for his family. The only way Conrad can live out his love story with Sophie is to escape the shackles that keep him tied to the East side of the Wall. These restraints come off only after the Wall has fallen, but by that time it is too late to rekindle the romance he shared with Sophie. In Silent Close No.6, the wall is used as a tool of unification rather than separation. Beerenbaum perceived it as a tool in unifying and solidifying the socialist nation. The wall was representative of the pinnacle of the East German socialist regime, a legacy for Beerenbaum to leave behind. Rosa, on the other hand, views the wall as a physically looming presence upon which she projects her resentment and bitterness onto her father and communism. For all these character the Wall becomes much more than concrete and watchtowers. It divides them all further than spatial limitations allow, creating a mental wall that prevents all Germans from coexisting.”