Berlin Stories

The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood, are a collection of short stories that are based on the experiences of Isherwood when he lived in inter-war Germany. Each different chapter consists of a variety stories, that share the same characters, and settings. Isherwood’s different stories seem to focus on a specific aspect of the Weimar culture. Weather it be the story of the narrators relationship with Sally Bowles, or in a later section when his vacation is concentrated on a very harmful relationship between two people living in his house. Isherwood always seems to put an interesting spin on issues . Once aspect of the book I found very interesting were the economic problems of Frl. Schroeder.

To the reader at first glance Frl. Schroeder seems to simply be a very interactive land lady. However, we soon learn that she was a lady of individual means who  took in boarders for the entertainment. However as time went on she feel on hard times and she’s forced to take as many boarders she can handle. This economic downturn and the change in opinion of Schroeder from a well off lady to a person who struggles to make ends meet seems to be an prime example of the issues many germans faced. It also seems to be an example of germany as a whole and the hard times its fallen on. This part of the story although minor struck me as a interesting parallel.

Do you think there were germans who were not  willing to stoop to the level of Schroeder?


2 thoughts on “Berlin Stories

  1. I think its possible that people tried to avoid Schroeders level, but maybe because of the economic downturn that a lot of people had to take on as many boarders as possible. When you are struggling economically, you would do what it took to feed yourself and your family. Interesting question. Good post.

  2. This is a very interesting issue you bring up. I do agree that it would of been possible for people to not stoop to the level of Schroeder, but with the crash of the banking system and financial system, people did set up boarders (and listen to the borders Schroeder put up) to protect themselves for their wellbeing.

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