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Cassandra by Christa Wolf - Book Report/Review Example

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Cassandra is a story written by Christa Wolf and is divided into five separate fragments. Cassandra is a female character in the story, shown as the daughter of Priam and a prophet during the Trojan war.
The novella, the first part, portrays the final three days of Cassandra's life…
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Cassandra by Christa Wolf

Download file to see previous pages... It is at times, more interesting than the novella itself and gives insight into Wolf's life and the events of her journey to Greece.
The most famous story of the Trojan War is the story of Homer's Iliad, when looked at from a male perspective. The test is simple; ask a name of a female in the story and there would be an overwhelming majority talking about Helen. So it's an intriguing fact that Wolf decided to write on a character that was known to a minimal level. McDonald believes, "Wolf is working towards a new kind of text" [269]. Wolf has aimed to create a story which highlights the peril our world is in when succumbing to male domination, by showing how things are when a woman is in the forefront. "Men's claim for absolute knowledge is nothing but rationalized domination" (McDonald 275).
"Through Wolf and Cassandra's story we can observe how the power-structures become male-focused and regulated by men" (Russi 28). Wolf shows exactly what her view is of the world: oppressed women bleating in misery and the men directing the world to inevitable annihilation. "It is men who make rigid categories and hierarchies among these modes of knowing, not women" (McDonald 275).
Wolf's writings are based on what she knows. ...
war in earlier times and her fears of nuclear warfare now, claims that women bring harmony to the land while men are the destroyers in chief of the world. The writing of Cassandra was in such a way that it helped Wolf to get her story across to the masses. A feminine viewpoint was put on the war and it ensured that people could at least see the war differently, whether embracing the new view or not. Wolf tells the stories of Iliad and others from a new perspective because they "promote the kind of value systems she opposes" (Russi 23). She abolishes the corruption of literature which is more and more littered with descriptions of male bravery and heroism.

Cassandra's story is a story that women can relate to as it highlights their issues and problems. Wolf wants to make the society more aware about the role of a woman in society then they do presently. According to her, a woman is ignored and under-appreciated. Where Homer concentrates on the men locked in battle, Wolf's idea is to show life that exists behind the battle fields with a female focus and the importance of events that happen other than on the field. As an example, we only need to look at the fall of Achilles from deceit of a woman. Without her coaxing, one can only guess how many Trojan men could have been destroyed! Women in the past and in contemporary society are under-appreciated for their achievements and their mistakes are aggravated. Cassandra gives women a sense of importance by showing how the Trojan War was not all about men and that women played a major role then, as they do today and this recognition can no longer be denied.

What sets Wolf apart from stories like 'Balzac and the Chinese seamstress' is that in that story, the tailor's daughter is shown simply as a thing to be valued only in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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