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The poem is written figuratively. At an overview, the author seems to contradict his perception of goodness; by the way, he justifies it. According to Brecht, defining goodness is fully depending on what one believes in and the side that one chooses. In this poem, as Brecht was a committed Marxist, Stalinist or subversive revolutionary in history, Brecht made sure that the readers understand that goodness depends on one’s perception and believes. Thinking this poem in the context of the Stalinist show trials, the readers can assume that he mirrors thoughts that one can be wise, honest, brave and good and still an enemy of the communist revolution, depending on whether one see this as an implicit criticism or praise of such trials and purges. In other words, good traits are only useful, when applied to good ends, otherwise, one is just more honest and likeable enemy. He understands that people will always treat you the same whether one is good or bad, so, valuing one’s other side of the story. In comparing examples from The Lives of Others and After the Wall, the readers can understand how defining good is depending on what one believes in and what side or perception one is willing to take, agreeing with Brecht in his poem the irony of defining goodness.
From the movie The Lives of Others, we can clearly distinguish the movie’s perception on good. The movie depicts the main character Dreyman as the good man, who is oppressed in his work and life; he was in socialist system and suffered “injustice,” being under secret surveillance, suspected to be a rebel, works censored by government and did not have freedom on what he could write about. It also highlights the bad sides of socialist system when Dreyman’s friend Jerska gets depressed and kills himself because of confinement in his works and got tired of socialist system. As it is drawn in the film, it seems like almost everybody in the movie hatreds the Socialism in East Germany and likes the Capitalism in West Germany. Even Wiesler, the member of the GDR, who used to keep Dreyman under surveillances and who was royal to his government, changes his mind and help out Dreyman’s rebel against GDR at the end. And when East Germany and West Germany proceeds into reunion, it seemed like there was no more discrimination, secret surveillances, but freedom and justice. Everybody including Dreyman was now happy and satisfied with his life, he was free with his writing, his book and play was selling out well. Even Wiesler, who lost his job after helping out Dreyman, was living satisfying life after the Fall of Berlin Wall. Summarizing these aspects in the movie The Lives of Others, the Fall of Berlin Wall, which is the reunion of Germany and the termination of socialist system and adapting the new capitalist system from West Germany, is good. If we believe that there is no other side of the story, it would be easy to accept the universal definition of good, in which socialism is bad and capitalism is good. But as shown in irony of Brecht’s poem, there is no universal definition of good but beliefs and perceptions that leads one to believe one that this is good, or right. This means that by what side one chooses to perceive or to believe in, the interpretation and the definition of good on event or action could be different. Then, is the Fall of Berlin Wall was GOOD by all means, as if it was depicted in the movie?
From the book After the Wall, When the Wall of Berlin Fall, Thirteen year old Jana Hensel’s childhood memory was also falling away. Jana was brought up in the shadows of communism believing that they lived in socialism past and a callous capitalist future. Losing everything she had changed her life completely from the way she walked, the way she talked to the way she read. Jana’s story is that of the confused German generation who had to abandon their past and live an uncertain future. Struggling to live a new life is hard; moreover, Jana tries her best to lead a good life (Hensel 51). The Fall of Berlin Wall made Jana to change herself and fit into new side of society. Because of this new spectrum of changes, she thinks her childhood memory has disappeared, moreover, abandoned. As it is show in Jana’s autobiography, the Fall of Berlin Wall was nothing more than an event that made her to abandon her nostalgic childhood memories and force her to the new world. In adapting herself into the new system, she had to disguise herself to fit in and abandons her childhood memories as well to disguise herself. She states that it would have been better if the Fall of Berlin Wall was never happened. This implies that in Jana’s perspectives and belief, the Fall of Berlin Wall was bad and never perceived as good. Because of Jana believes that it was the German reunion that gave her such a hardship and lost, this event, the Berlin Wall Fall, is not be good for Jana Hensel and in her belief it was bad. Then as we saw in Jana’s perception, is the Fall of Berlin Wall NOT GOOD?