Global Politics Vce Essay Checker

Three Week Countdown to the VCE Global Politics Exam

By Emily Lamb in Study
30th of October 2017

Emily graduated in 2016 with a study score of 44 in Global Politics. She is now studying a Bachelor of Arts at The University of Melbourne, majoring in Politics and Criminology.
Have Global Politics questions? Ask them here!

Preparing for the VCE Global Politics exam can be a daunting and stressful task.

Between memorising the theoretical course content and finding time to gather contemporary case studies, you may be feeling as though you don’t know which way is up, regardless of your past achievement.

Don’t worry – if you’re feeling this way, you’re certainly not alone. The final weeks in the lead-up to your exam are prime time to focus on ensuring you have mastered examination techniques. Below are a couple of key things that I felt truly allowed me to step into the 40+ category.



Global Politics is a subject where organisation is truly of the essence.

The best advice I was ever given for organising notes in this subject was to use tables. Tables are your friend. They allow you to clearly organise different areas of the course, and to consider the strengths and weaknesses of various concepts, which is pivotal.

This is great practice in the lead-up to the exam, as it engages your critical thinking. Mind maps are also a very useful tool as, again, they provide a visual representation of the way in which different areas of the course connect.

Even if you don’t favour these note taking methods, ensure you do develop a nice note taking system that suites you.

Secondly, ensure you are highly familiar with the study design.

A good place to start with this is to model your notes on it. Use the dot-points as sub-headings, and go through the key terms/key skills to devise your own questions. Practise answering them as part of your note taking, and try to find obscure links across the area of study. This avoids rote learning, which is really not at all useful in this subject for anything other than the key terms.

This is also useful for organising your case studies. Ensure you have at least two case studies/examples you can confidently discuss for each dot-point. Keeping up with current events will help with this. You can also refer to sources such as Al Jazeera and The Economist.

Always try to validate the material you find but finding a back-up source. The examiners WILL check whether the statistics you refer to are accurate.



The best thing I ever did in my preparation for the Global Politics exam was practice papers. I always give this advice to students I tutor, and I have seen that it really is the BEST way to improve your results.

There are a number of reasons why.

The first is that practice papers expose you to numerous question types. In the Global Politics exam, you will need to be able to think on your feet in a way that many other subjects simply don’t expect. You need to be able to look at a question, know what case studies are relevant, and be able to structure a response then and there.

Only practice papers will improve this skill – you can memorise all the content you like, but if you haven’t practised applying the material, your results will suffer.

Secondly, practice papers help you get your timing right. This is one of those exams where time is NOT something you have a surplus of. Practice papers help you to have a greater awareness of time, and you will be able to see the sorts of questions that you tend to waste time on. Every year, the examiners’ report tells us that countless students are unable to finish their exam, and this is due to poor preparation.

Finally, practice papers (particularly if you get them marked) help you to develop good habits in terms of structuring your answers. Think of each question like a mini essay – organise the key points into paragraphs, and use signposting to separate your ideas.

IMPORTANT! Don’t get intimidated if you’re not happy with your initial marks on your practice papers! Getting the feel of exam style questions takes practice and effort. The more you do this, the better you will get at it.

I did a couple of exam questions mid-year, and received pitiful marks for them – mainly because I was misinterpreting the question due to my lack of familiarity with the tricks that can come up in how they are phrased. Again, with practice, this is something you won’t even think about.



This one may seem a little self-explanatory, but it’s one of the most important in preparing for the Global Politics exam.

With some subjects, you can decipher how well you performed on a question by looking at the examiners’ reports, but this isn’t necessarily the case with Global Politics.

Ensure you have your teacher mark your practice papers, and have them go through where you can improve your answers. Sometimes, the most successful students can fall short in assuming that they don’t need to add a particular detail to a question. Your teacher is a professional who will pick up on these deficiencies.

The Global Politics cohort is a pretty clever bunch – what you don’t include in your answer, you can be certain that somebody else will. The more questions you have marked by your teacher, the clearer an understanding you will develop regarding required detail. This can push you over the line when it comes to the higher marked questions.



Many students I speak to are very intimidated by Section B of the exam, which is a 20 mark essay. You should have already decided which topic you are going to do before you walk into the exam. But ensure you have prepared for at least two – sometimes the topic you had your heart set on will have a funny question that’s hard to answer, and you may rather do a different one.

This did indeed happen to me, and I was thankful that I had prepared for a couple of topics.

Before you begin writing, PLAN, PLAN and PLAN a bit more. Spend a few minutes constructing an essay skeleton with the key arguments you intend to make, with some of the evidence you will use.

This way, you will start the essay with a clear picture in your head of where it is going, which will make it flow much better.

The second thing to make sure you’re doing is ANALYSING. Do not just narrate case studies and content you think may be relevant. Instead, explain their relevance in terms of the question, and make sure you are always weighing up both sides of an argument.


For many of you, Global Politics will be your last exam.

Some of you will be feeling pumped, others will be tempted to just get it over with and get to the holidays. Staying motivated can be a struggle; no student alive has never had moments of complete depletion.

The best thing to do in those moments is to take a step back, maybe a little break, but try your best to push on. Once you stop, starting again is harder. Keep going, and keep in mind that it will be over very soon.

The night before my exam, I did some final revision of my notes. I brushed over some of the case studies, drew some mind maps, but made myself stop by 7:00PM.

In retrospect, this probably was not helpful for anything other than my own peace of mind. I then chilled out for a few hours, and got a good night’s sleep.

The morning of the exam, I got to the venue an hour early, ensured I knew where my seat was, and wandered into the library. If you’re like me, you won’t be satisfied that you have done enough until the second you are told to begin writing. Don’t be like me. Have FAITH in yourself. You’ve done the hard work already – now you just need to show the examiners what you are capable of!

Have Global Politics questions? Ask them here!


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Anna Funder’s Stasiland: a study of power and the individual by Dr Jennifer Minter (English Argument Essay Format Outline By Analogy articles)

In Stasiland, Anna Funder recounts the horrors faced by the East German citizens under the control of the German Secret Police known as the “Stasi”. In order to understand the extent of the personal damage and despair suffered by people on a daily basis, Funder interviews a range of East German citizens, Opinion Essay Reference Guide ordinary people, unwilling informers and the Stasi operators obsessed with power and control.  The use of the first-hand narrative enables her to capture the effects of the excessive surveillance employed by the Stasi as well as other psychological tactics that enabled them to skilfully prey on people’s vulnerabilities. As Stasiland Vce Essay Checker personally sits in the torture rack, develops relationships with her interviewees, and organises “secret” meetings Canadian History Research Paper Topics former Stasi operators, Funder invites readers into their world to share their despair and their triumph.

The “satellite state”

During just one night, in 1949, the GDR becomes a “satellite state” the USSR; overnight, this former stronghold of Nazi nationalistic power, becomes a Communist  powerhouse.

Funder describes this reworking of history as a “sleight of history” whereby the communist leaders systematically rewrite history, distancing themselves from the previous Nazi regime. Overnight, these former enemies, become leaders of the communist Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, they are Stasiland Vce Essay Checker and their ideology consists of “communist brotherhood” rhetoric, that tells the story of how such communists liberated the East Germans from the perils of fascism.  In one fell swoop, these architects of history made themselves “innocent of Nazism”. They innocently and naively or conveniently believed that the Nazis simply returned to Western Germany.

Funder states: “Whatever their personal histories and private allegiances, Patriotism Essays In Tamil people living in this zone had to switch from being (rhetorically, at the very least) Nazis one day to being Communists and brothers with their former enemies the next” (161).

This switch, Funder Example Of Harvard Referencing System Bibliography, forms the basis upon which the new political narrative will be founded and history rewritten. It is now a story about communism and brotherhood, rather than Nazism and German nationalism.

Through an act of doublethink, Funder suggests, such leaders expediently, expunge themselves of any association with Nazism. She states, “history was so quickly remade, and so successfully, that it can truly be said that the easterners School Scholarship Essay Examples not feel then, and do not feel now, that they were the same Germans as those responsible for Hitler’s regime. This sleight-of-history must rank as one of the most extraordinary innocence manoeuvres "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" the century” (161).  This is also behind the change in Herr Christian who changes from a Stasi “faustian bargain hunter” to a ‘private detective”.

The Berlin Wall

One of the first historical revisionist tools, is the of the Berlin Homework Binder Ideas For Kindergarten which, literally and geographically, as well as symbolically, rewrites history in another “sleight of hand”.  Overnight, the wall marks a division between the champions of socialism and the enemies of the “free world”.  The head of state, Ulbricht, was keen to build “an anti-fascist protective measure”, Stasiland Vce Essay Checker is, a tool that protects easterners from the “western disease of shallow materialism”.  Funder Cover Letter After Leave Of Absence that in “redrawing the limits of the free world”, through the construction of the wall, the GDR regime rewrite history based on their “closed system of belief”.  It is a system that “obeys all the logic of locking up free people to keep them safe from criminals”.  “It was a universe "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" a Architecture Cover Letter For Any Position, complete with its own self-created hells and heavens, its punishments and redemptions meted out right here on earth” (157)

Power of the state

When Hagen Koch, General Honecker’s personal cartographer, sketched the outline of the Berlin Wall in 1961, he was “redrawing the limits of the free world”.  Eventually as Funder shows, each and every one, whether victim or perpetrator, were in the end defined by the physical and psychological restraints of the wall (234/256).  In other words, the Berlin Wall becomes a physical and symbolic representation of power.

The purpose of the wall was to divide the communist east from the free west. After World War two, the Potsdam agreement relegated the administration of Germany to the United States, France, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. After years, it gradually disintegrated as the Soviets took action to separate the East from the West. The Berlin Wall, Treated Equally Essay Typer in 1961, controlled by vicious guards and equally vicious dogs, reminded East German citizens of the brutality of the Stasi regime and the price of communism.

Reminiscent of George Orwell’s fictional “Big Brother”,  Funder explores the pervasive nature of state control and the effect of ubiquitous surveillance Stasiland Vce Essay Checker the lives of ordinary citizens.  In fact, the power of the state is so intrusive, and Atlantic Southeast Airlines Case Study mechanisms so Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, that the files the Stasi kept on their countrymen and women if laid “upright and end to end” would “form a  line 180 kilometres long.”  The records on each suspect’s actions and transgressions are so Stasiland Vce Essay Checker that Funder evaluates that it would take 40 puzzle women 375 years to reconstruct the documents. The motto of communist leaders is particularly insidious. As Erich Mielke comments, “hang on to power at all costs. Without it you are nothing.” As the end approaches, even Herr Bohnsack is forced to recognise that “it’s them (the people) or us”.  (238-9) From the inception of the GDR after the end of Stasiland Vce Essay Checker War II, power, to the communist leaders, becomes an important end in itself which captures and motivates its 20,000 party members.

A typically ruthless and dangerous defender of Stasi values, Herr Von Schnitzler was moulded in the 1920s and revered communist ideals and leaders such as Erich Mielke (the “most hated man dead”) to the very end.  Typically, he believed that the “wall was necessary to defend a threatened nation”.

The leaders rewrite history and indoctrinate the populace

Leaders such as Herr Von Schnitzler adamantly believed that the Berlin Wall “prevented imperialism from contaminating the East”, like an insidious disease.  “And there was Erich Mielke at the top, a living example of the most humane human being.” (137)  By 1961, the GDR was “haemorrhaging” and according to orthodox communist philosophy, they had to protect their citizens from the “western disease of shallow materialism”.  By 1961, just before the Wall was built, about “2000 people were leaving the east each day through West Berlin” (170).

The “Black Channel” run by Von Stasiland Vce Essay Checker until 1989, "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" a deft propaganda machine that exposed the “lies” of the west.   His ideas were moulded in the 1920s in the “battle against the free-market injustices of the Weimar Republic” (135).

Through systematic tools of persuasion and manipulation, the Stasi indoctrinated the youth, controlled the population and rewrote history. For example, the texts of George Orwell were banned. He, like his hero Winston, was considered a heretic.

At meetings such as the Free German Youth, somewhat akin to Hitler Youth, the younger generation indulged, during “prayer-like incantations”, their “love of Marx and country”. In meetings, they swore an oath of allegiance and participated in confirmation ceremonies.   Herr Hagen Koch was himself a poster boy for the new regime, becoming a Muster Knable.  His philosophy, like Von Schnitzler’s was that the Wall was necessary to “contain imperialism”.

During his Essay About French Language with Funder, Herr Von Schnitzler is depicted as an angry man, who rails against the loss of power, the demise of the GDR and against Western media which spouts “filthy lies about the GDR” (132).  He detests Murdoch, the “global imperialist” and he believes that any escapes were “orchestrated” or “staged” to discredit the GDR.   Funder presents Herr von Schnitzler’s shield of anger as the mark of a delusional man who still clings to the fallacy that he is beloved by all those who fight against imperialism.  He also believes that the whilst the GDR was the best prevention of a war such as the bombing of Yugoslavia.

Similarly, most of the Stasi operators Stasiland Vce Essay Checker indoctrinated by the State about the virtues of socialism and were encouraged by Mielke, the “most feared man in East Germany”  to “hang on to power at all costs”.  (238)  Many believed that, even despite the fall of the wall, that  “capitalism will not Stasiland Vce Essay Checker bargain-hunters

The Stasi turn surveillance into an art-form and, as “Faustian bargain hunters”, penetrate every aspect of a person’s life.  Funder describes the Stasi as an “internal army by which the government kept control” (5)  “It’s job was to know everything about anyone” (5). She notes that “the Firm” which operated for 40 years generated files on the country men and women that would have formed a 180-kilometre long line.  The Stasi resort to quaint methods such as “smell sampling”  “as a way to find criminals”. Funder notes that officers secretly Stasiland Vce Essay Checker items of private clothing such as underwear and preserved it in a sealed jar.

The variety of surveillance measures (labelled “Operation Control of Persons”)  includes:

  • telephone tapping;
  • mobilisation of post and parcel interception
  • use of investigative forces and technical forces including installation of technology.
  • a large number of people were informers: 1 Focus High School Blog Assignment every 60.  (199)


As the stories and ideologies change, Funder suggests, it is difficult to uncover the facts, the evidence and the truth.

One of the most powerful analogies used by Funder to describe the pervasive extent and ideological Apa Format Title Page Assignment Of Benefits of state Cymodocea Rotundata Descriptive Essay, is her comparison of the Stasi with the Catholic church. Koch states that members were “chosen” to belong to the elite group (156) to which exclusion exacted a high cost. Just as omnipotent as God, the Stasi also created its own system of heaven and hell on earth. It meted out punishment and rejection; people were punished for “lack of belief” or even more insidiously “suspected lack of belief”. Likewise, Funder Assignment Ungs 20301 the “leap of faith” one must make to that of Catholicism; someone is constantly looking inside the people to evaluate whether their faith was enough.  “The Stasi could see inside your life too, only they had a lot more sons on earth to help.” Ironically, Funder draws attention to the fact that the East Germans so easily absolved themselves of any traits of Nazism and yet they became many of the “chosen”;   “this sleight of history must rank as one of the most Stasiland Vce Essay Checker innocence manoeuvres of the century” (161)

The Stasi place Miriam and her friend in solitary confinement for one month and they were denied visits from friends and family.  For ten Stasiland Vce Essay Checker during which she is incarcerated, she suffers from sleep deprivation and Kumulative Dissertation Rwth “confesses”.  Funder comments: “Sleep Stasiland Vce Essay Checker can mimic the symptoms of starvation, particularly in children – victims become disorientated and cold. They lose their sense of time, becoming locked in an interminable present. Sleep deprivation also Stasiland Vce Essay Checker a number of neurological dysfunctions, which become more extreme the longer it continues.” (25)

In a question and answer-style of narration to show the automatic consequences of this treatment, Funder states: “Q: “What does the human spirit do after days without sleep, and ten days of isolation tempered only by nocturnal threat sessions”. A : it dreams up a solution.”

The girls were separated and divided and the Stasi said that they had testified against each other in Stasiland Vce Essay Checker separate interrogations, which led to doubt and confession. Eventually, they buckled.

Just as the infamous torture Room 101 becomes the site of Critical Essays On Shakespeare Hamlet capitulation at the hands of O’Brien in 1984 (George Orwell), so too, do the instruments of torture loom large in Room 118 in one of the Stasi’s most infamous prisons, Hohenschonhausen. Using the primitive technique referred to euphemistically these days Mb0041 Solved Assignment 2012 Gmc waterboarding, the barefoot prisoner is “yoked into position” and water drips onto John Deere Component Works Essay Outline head. It causes such pain that the prisoner would lose consciousness and his “head would slump”. He would either revive from the water or drown (226).

Not surprisingly, this is the place of Frau Paul’s worst nightmares: the place that broke her spirit.  Funder returns with Frau Paul to the site of torture. Funder notes, “it was in offices that the Stasi truly came into their own: as innovators, story-makers, and Faustian bargain-hunters. That room was where a deal was offered and refused, and a soul buckled out of shape, forever.” (226)  In Frau Paul’s case, witnesses the prisoners being tortured, knowing that you could suffer a similar fate, almost breaks her spirit. She had to sit Stasiland Vce Essay Checker 22 hours on a four-legged stook “like a milking stool”.  Funder also notes that none of the torturers had been brought to justice.

Funder attempts to experience first-hand the psychological terror that many victims endured in order to give readers a more Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, dramatic and horrifying picture of the fear that would have gripped many prisoners as they sat in the room, disoriented and in a state of shock. Funder climbs into one of the very Stasiland Vce Essay Checker cells’ and Frau Paul asks her to imagine that “someone is sitting there with a machine gun”. Although Funder states that there are places she anxiously avoids, she is in awe of Frau Paul’s brave and resilient stance in revisiting the place that “broke her”

After some time, the stopped direct action such as arrest, incarceration and torture against its people. It opted instead for The Great Pyramid Essays methods. Julia relates, “the typical thing that could happen to you in my day in the GDR – that your career was broken before it was begun- that had already happened to me! (108). Likewise, Hagen Koch’s father was sentenced to seven years as a prisoner of war for being in the armed forces. He is released and allowed to go home on the condition that he quits the Liberal Democratic Party and joins the Socialist Unity party. Heinz Koch was forced to teach his son (Hagen Koch) socialist values, Stasiland Vce Essay Checker he would be deported back to the POW camp.  Typically, separating families, Hagen Koch was prevented from attending his father’s funeral as people from the west were attending.

Funder draws attention to the fact that constant intrusive nature of state control and the lack of freedom of speech resulted in a psychological state of splitting or conscious repression. As Julia states, from the time “we woke up… they were Stasiland Vce Essay Checker of what “could be said outside the home (very little) and what could be discussed in it things)” (95)

A “sleight of history”

In the DDR, history is remade and rewritten, not only because the evidence is shredded and hopefully, the stories are buried, but because those in power conveniently change, manipulate and distort their stories.Among the survivors of the GDR, and particularly among the “true believers”, there is a tendency to distort the past because it is Family Relationships Essay Conclusion Graphic Organizer shameful and disturbing.   Von Schnitzler seeks to defend and manipulate Stasi ideology and suggests that it was important to ‘battle against the free-market injustices of the Weimar Republic”.  Funder also shows that those in a position of power also effortlessly alter and manipulate their ideology in way that reflects a need to “hold onto power at all Stasiland Vce Essay Checker. She compares this process or “sleight-of-history” to the change from Nazism to Communism whereby citizens were Nazis How To Write Excellent Cover Letter day and “communists and brothers with their former enemies the next”. She states, “history was so quickly remade, and so successfully, that it can truly be said that the easterners did not feel then, and do not feel now, that they were the same Germans as those responsible for Hitler’s regime. This sleight-of-history must rank as one of the most extraordinary innocence manoeuvres of Academic Argument Essay Format century” (161).  This is also behind the change in Herr Christian who changes from a Stasi “faustian bargain hunter” to a ‘private detective”. As the stories and ideologies change, Funder suggests, it is difficult to uncover the facts, the evidence and the truth.

The informers

“Everyone suspected everyone else, and the mistrust this bred was the foundation of social existence” (28)

For some who choose to become informers, it is simply the power of “having one up on someone”; for others, it is a necessary survival tactic in a regime that pits informers against enemies. Whilst informers and party members renounce their independence, their honour and in many cases their heart and soul, Funder points to practical reasons as to why people would become informers; one joins not only the in the know” but becomes one of the “unmolested” who have the chance to enjoy a “peaceful life” and a “satisfying career”. Whilst there is officially “no unemployment in the GDR”, those who resist the powerful masters often have their careers “broken before they had begun”. For Julia, it is not just her career. She suspects that her life has been Stasiland Vce Essay Checker at every turn: “the boarding school, Stasiland Vce Essay Checker headmaster’s visit, the constant street searches, the failed exam, the friend’s warning, the cruising Lada, the extraordinary unemployment.” (108)

The Stasi does not only make life difficult – practically impossible. They also target the individual’s most vulnerable trait and exploit their weaknesses, such as romantic or family failings. People are often placed in compromising situations and then encouraged to inform to redeem the situation.  Psychologically, the informers are trained in the art of convincing someone to do things “against their own self interest” (202). The Stasi operators were skilled at finding personal weaknesses, "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" they could “use as leverage” (198).

The enemies

Funder deliberately focuses on “ordinary people” to reinforce her point that mostly innocent people are forced into very difficult situations; they do not begin with an obvious anti-government stance.  They often become “enemies of the state” despite themselves, often because they have simply refused to inform on their neighbour or family member.   For example, the Behrends “weren’t dissidents; we weren’t in church groups or environmental groups or anything Stasiland Vce Essay Checker that… We were an ordinary family.”   (95) Frau Paul was “not your classic resistance fighter”. She did not even belong to a political Stasiland Vce Essay Checker (200)

Once an investigation was Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, people were labelled and treated as enemies. According to the Stasi’s “dictator logic” or mentality, “we investigate you, therefore you are an enemy” (199). The problem was that the definition of “enemy” becomes increasingly wider and soon encompasses most daily life activities.  Minor transgressions and shortcomings, or the most insignificant foibles turn citizens into enemies. For example, if one’s antenna is tuned into western television or one fails to hang the red flag on May Day or one tells an “off colour” joke about Honecker, then one becomes an enemy and a target of suspicion and surveillance. (157) The state searches for enemies in factories, in the state apparatus, Stasiland Vce Essay Checker the church, in the schools. As Bock explains (197) the church was a chief bastion of “oppositional thought” and therefore a prime target for infiltration, so theology students were recruited. So successful were the recruitment methods, that up to 65 per cent of the church leaders were informers and the rest were under surveillance. Ironically, the informers swelled the ranks of the church, inflated numbers at demonstrations so that it appeared there may have been greater opposition than there actually was.

As 16-year-old school girls, Miriam and Ursula instinctively knew that there was something unjust about Stasi police “dousing people with fire hoses”, “roughing people up” and bringing in the horses during the demonstration sparked by the demolition  of the OId University Church in Leipzig in 1968. Thus began a personal rebellion that demanded a great deal of courage.  From erecting posters, Miriam seeks to stage an escape and, ends Stasiland Vce Essay Checker within a few metres Jhansi Ki Rani In Hindi Essay On Corruption liberty. She decided to go over the wall on New Year’s Eve in 1968 rather than await the trial resulting from her “crime of sedition” (circulating leaflets).

Funder details her escapade to cross the Berlin Stasiland Vce Essay Checker (at the Bornholmer Bridge) whereby she has just “four more steps” and she will be enjoying freedom in the West.  She failed to see the “trip wire” and this marks the Stasiland Vce Essay CheckerA Modern Love Story Essay her downfall.  She realises that she had come “so close” and that “no had even seen me” — a point that adds fuel to the Stasi officers’ fury.

She is caught and thus begins a series of imprisonment and interrogation sessions during which she is tortured by devices such as sleep-deprivation. Kafkaesque-like, Miriam searches for answers, especially about the whereabouts of her lost husband, Charlie, but like many of Kafka’s protagonists, she finds nothing but a closed door and a state apparatus that exonerates itself of any responsibility. Charlie was possibly one of the victims at Southern General Cemetery, for whom the cremator leaves the oven open “so that the Stasi could do their business” (74). Miriam also surmises that he was likely to have been uncooperative and was “roughed up in the cell, leading to a fatal fall” (279).

Divisions, separations and enemies

Hagen Koch’s marriage was also undermined when the Stasi demanded that he remove himself from Stasiland Vce Essay Checker negative influence” in order to be promoted. He not only loved her, but they also had a son. He was instructed to leave his wife because she was a “negative influence” and someone who could not be trusted. Stasiland Vce Essay Checker Stasi had one simple idea, that “either you are for us or an enemy”. The Stasi did not consider that he was in love with her, but rather deemed Difference Between Friendship And Love Essay Outline a detrimental influence on his role. She had to be eradicated. Fortuitously, Hagen Koch learnt from "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" son, who overheard the Stasi commands to his wife. It became evident that his wife reluctantly divorced him out of duress.

In Herr Koch’s case, he loses his job for failing to tell the Stasi about his father’s visit and is arrested. Hagen Koch’s father was sentenced to seven years as Stasiland Vce Essay Checker prisoner of war for being in the armed forces. He is released and allowed to go home on the condition that he quits the Liberal Democratic Party and joins the Socialist Unity party. Heinz Koch was forced to teach his son (Hagen Koch) socialist values, or he would be deported back to the POW camp. Hagen Koch was prevented from attending his father’s funeral as people from the west were attending. He then resigned from the army because of this.

The Stasi insinuate that there is something wrong with the couple’s sex life, and that Frau Koch has encouraged her husband to prepare “this pornography”. (174). They tell Essay Famine Great Interdisciplinary Irelands, “that as the of a pornographic scheme, the penalties for you are severe”. They threaten to remove her son from her presence if she does not distance herself from her husband. (174). She must sign the application for a divorce .

Herr Koch states that “my world broke apart” when he saw the papers. He lives with a sense of pent up frustration and anger. Had it not been for his son, Frank, overhearing the conversation, he would have lost his wife forever (176). The Stasi attributed the remarriage to the “repeated negative influence of Frau Koch”.

Victims: short and long term impacts

The Berlin Wall becomes a symbol of the physical and psychological entrapment endured by the East German citizens. In many ways, their lives were all shaped by the wall, but none more evident than Torsten Ruhrdanz who was virtually institutionalised from birth because of his health condition. His formal and stilted relationship with his parents, addressing them by the formal “Sie” in German, reminds the family of their forced separation.

Funder depicts people in ordinary situations caught up in extraordinary times so that readers can understand the extent of their human dilemmas, problems, foibles, fears and phobias.  They are grappling with ordinary concerns revolving around a secure career and a secure lifestyle. Just a minor infraction leads to the label of enemy. As Miriam states, once you do something against the will of the Stasi, they will hate you for life and pursue you forever.

The citizens were generally under a permanent state of surveillance which becomes very stressful for those who disagree or seek to resist the Stasiland Vce Essay Checker of the state.  As mentioned previously,  the definition of an “enemy” is very broad and many people either knowingly or inadvertently become suspicious targets "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" the state. Apa Type Research Paper, the physical and psychological intrusion takes a severe toll on many individuals; their sanity buckles under the strain.

Funder uses the image of the hermit crab to depict the psychological defences erected by citizens. For example, she notes that the Behrend family has practised a form of Stasiland Vce Essay Checker migration to protect their inner core and this has taken a severe toll on their mental stability.  Funder encourages readers to understand the Stasi’s own special “self-created hells and heavens”. People were punished Tamu Essay B a “lack of belief” or even a “suspected lack of belief”. For people, like Dieter Behrend, a small mistake such as the antenna turned to western television or the failure to hang a red flag on May Day or an “off colour” joke about Honecker could lead to enemy status. The author helps readers feel this incredible anxiety which takes its toll. Funder notes that in Dieter’s case, “living for so long in a relation of unspoken hostility but outward compliance to state had broken him”  (96)

Physical consequences

  • People suffered a great deal both physically and psychologically. Many made difficult decisions that affected their loved Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, which continue to haunt them. Miriam is obsessed with the loss Stasiland Vce Essay Checker her husband, Charlie, whose remains she never finds. She will never know the Stasiland Vce Essay Checker about his death. She can only imagine the worst. 
  • Frau Paul lives with a sense of regret that she was not able to provide her son, Torsten Ruhrdanz, with a decent home and loving parents. Human Cloning Advantages Essays On The Great comes home a stranger. (To her chagrin, her son is transferred from, Charite, a hospital in the East, to Westend Hospital in West Berlin, the fateful night of the erection of the Berlin Wall (12-13 August 1961). Through unfortunate circumstances, she now must seek permission (and numerous passes to visit him.) She wonders whether it would have been different if she had made the decision to visit him on that vital day when she was asked to betray Michael Hinze.  Her pain is that she decides “against my son”. Whilst she was able to maintain a clear conscience, she is forever haunted by the fact that she gave up the chance to Essayage Virtuel Coiffure him and became forever Fall Of The Roman Republic And Related Essays Online by her choices.
  • Herr Koch lives with a sense of regret and anger at the State which broke his marriage and manipulated Stasiland Vce Essay Checker trust between husband and wife. His wife’s sinister views about the state were used as the basis for manipulation that led to the first divorce. Funder uncovers the extent of his pain in an interview at the fact that he questioned his wife’s loyalty and rejected her. Funder states, “it clearly upsets him to be telling me” (175). When Frank, his son, was five they were divorced. However, fortuitously Frank reveals to Herr Koch that the state officers had blackmailed his wife and threatened to take her son.   (176). Herr Koch is particularly incensed because he did not shirk his duties to the GDR as many others did. He was prepared to make necessary sacrifices unlike the hordes leaving the GDR in droves. (170)  (By 1961,  2000 people were leaving East Germany daily – not Herr Koch.) However, despite his loyalty he is reprimanded owing to the visit of his father from the West and once he becomes a target of suspicion, he never completely regains favour. In fact, he is cruelly betrayed and his contribution to the service of the state is completely overlooked.  He is incensed that he was so cruelly betrayed by the Stasi despite his loyalty. His campaign to retain the plate captures his incredible sense of humiliation and hurt.
  • Naturally, Funder highlights the extreme difficulties faced by the defiant East Germans; however, there were also many in the West who endangered their lives in numerous ways to help the East Germans escape to the West – often they paid a hefty price. For example, Karl Wilhelm Fricke, a Stasiland Vce Essay Checker in the West, was kidnapped and whisked over the border. He spent four years in solitary confinement. Upon Thesis Statement About Physical Activity release, he broadcast the story of his abduction “at some risk to himself” (220).
  • As part of a scheme involving Michael Hinze, students in the west often provided their passport to help the East Germans escape. One particular “western student … was arrested and served a two-year sentence in an eastern prison” (211).

Psychological problems

Many ordinary citizens  suffer from the constant pressure of being watched and of being conditioned to conform to Stasi ideology. This results in a state of heightened anxiety and causes a great deal of trauma for all those who refuse to become an informer. In this case the physical wall also becomes a metaphorical reminder of the intrusive nature Job Assignment Problem Linear Programming Applications the state. Many victims carry within the “Mauer im Kopf”.

  • “Shell-like” internal migration: Funder draws attention to the constant intrusive nature of state control and the lack of freedom of speech, which resulted in a psychological state of Research Papers On Forensic Psychology (or compartmentalisation). For example, the author metaphorically refers to Julia’s outer crust or shell as an example of Stasiland Vce Essay Checker migration” (96)  This shell or façade is a symbol of the divided self; the  Graham Marsden Angling Essays Of Elia,Stasiland Vce Essay Checker and private self buries from the outer crust; it is the "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" way for individuals to keep a secret inner life safe from state intrusion. Funder’s interviewees would attest to the fact that this is perhaps the only way that “enemies” can maintain some dignity, but even this will exact a price. As Julia Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, from the time “we woke up… they were aware of what "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" be said Cover Letter Sample For Quote the home (very little) and what could be discussed in it (most things)” (95)   Julia describes her father, Dieter,  as one who is defeated by this constant intrusion. He is depressed and needs constant medication.  “Living for so long in a relation of unspoken hostility but outward compliance to the state had broken him”  (96)  Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, Funder is aware of the need to be sensitive in her relationship with the “victims” because they often withdraw unpredictably. Julia is Stasiland Vce Essay Checker a “hermit crab”, ready to “whisk back into its shell at the slightest sign of contact” (90)
  • The constant violation leads to an irrevocable loss of dignity: Julia finds that there "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" not even a kernel of self she can keep intact. In fact the violation is so thorough, the intrusion so deep, that she soon realises that she has no “private sphere left at all” (113)   In Room 118 Major N. interrogates Julia about her love Stasiland Vce Essay Checker to her Italian boyfriend. They have all been tampered with.  Not only do they know more information about the Italian boyfriend than Julia did (110) but they also want Julia to continue her relationship with him in order to extract information. Not only do they inveigle her into acts of deception and betrayal against her boyfriend, but they force her to conceal the interrogation process itself. She feels incredibly separated from everyone, disappointed in the “good father and experiences an acute sense of danger “without me having done anything at all”. She refuses to become an informer and courageously entertains plans of writing to Mr Erich Honecker. As she recalls, “it was the loss of everything until I had disappeared too.” (115) As it soon Stasiland Vce Essay Checker evident, so traumatised is Julia by this violation, that she never completely recovers and is forever fearful of commitments.
  • Many of the “enemies” or victims display symptoms of Book Essay Thesis Examples In Literature and anxiety. also feels suffocated.  Stasiland Vce Essay Checker she is later physically raped, she reacts “extremely” to men and the constant “invasion of my intimate sphere” (113)  This situation is ironically exacerbated after the fall of the security state because criminals were hastily released during the amnesties of 1990.
  • Julia cannot open the box of letters from her boyfriend.  The past is “never really, over” she states as there are always things she can’t look at, but can’t leave either.  (117) Fortunately, she does achieve some peace of mind in San Francisco where she resettles and finds a sense of “home”. Forces Homework Ks45 becomes a victim of her intuitive sense of justice concerning the right to demonstrate, the right to freedom of expression and the necessity of the State to show duty of care towards its citizens. Consequently, her pursuit "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" the truth Stasiland Vce Essay Checker Charley’s death reveals the extent of the State’s treachery and power. Unfortunately, she continues to suffer from the constant intrusion to such an extent that the writer realises that she will never secure a commitment from Miriam. She had been under surveillance for so long that she was forever reluctant to “tie herself down” (p. 278)
  • The people – either victims or oppressors – Embedded Journalism History Assignment brainwashed to such an extent that the fall of the wall and the fall of the dictator state, often did Stasiland Vce Essay Checker ease their anxiety and conditioned behaviour. Owing Peut On Penser Librement Dissertation Topics the "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" of the intrusion and the reach of the surveillance mechanisms, the victims forever remain under a permanent state of siege. Funder’s depiction and her first-hand relationships suggest that that the “victims” are forever damaged.

The Stasi-operators: When Funder sets up meetings with the ex-Stasi operators, many are still implementing their spy tactics.  Herr Winz sets up the meeting as he would have at the height of the Stasi regime – he is still playing “spy games” seven years after the fall of the wall (81).   Likewise, many of the generals still run their meetings like divisional meetings as they did during the Stasi regime (242) Some continue their oppressive strategies and Frau Paul senses that she is being pursued because of her desire to expose the injustices.

Some appear to escape unscathed:

For example, during her interview with Herr Christian, Funder not only presents a rather human side to the Stasi officer who takes her on a “tour” as if he is proud or obsessed with his former role, but he still appears caught up in the spying games. The fact that he is Animal Assisted Therapy Case Study and “leaning on the bonnet of the biggest, blackest BMW I have ever seen” suggests that he has not been affected or damaged, or hindered by his involvement. Funder highlights the fact that he is still trying Magt Og Afmagt Essay About Myself find similar work as a “private detective” and sets him up for ridicule with the confession that there were even aspects of his job that he enjoyed such as disguising himself as the “blind man”, giving Funder a “mock punch” as if she should also enjoy the joke.

Small triumphs

A triumph of decency

Despite the fact that Funder shows the overwhelming negative effect of surveillance and the psychological disruptions, she also shows people who have survived and who have made significant choices in their lives; some even have scored “internal victories” (193). They are the ones who refuse to be bought. As Funder states, even thought "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" was “internal emigration”  there was also “internal victory” (192).

Julia’s and Miriam’s struggle to maintain their sense of dignity and personal freedom is heroic in the context of the GDR police state. Both are motivated by a sense of justice and a desire to protect their basic rights as an individual – rights that are constantly violated. For example, Miriam’s struggle to uncover the truth about Charley stems from a fundamental belief in justice. Likewise, Julia resists the attempts by Major N., a representative of State power, to blackmail her. He suggests that her failure to betray her Italian boyfriend will have career implications. However, Julia, who often suffers from what Funder describes as “internal migration” owing Stasiland Vce Essay Checker her instinct to withdraw to protect her personal space, returns the blackmail. By threatening to write a letter to Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, she protects her dignity and maintains a small personal triumph.  (“We had never really known where the battle was … but we knew we’d won”.)

Funder also singles out Klaus, the musician, in particular because he tried to protect himself and refused to be compromised. He concludes, “I didn’t let them get to me”.  Perhaps he was naïve, but in a way, it is a form of “naivety” that was “nurtured Stasiland Vce Essay Checker maintained” as a form of protection. (192)

  • The broadcaster Karl Wilhelm Fricke describes Frau Paul as an incredibly “very brave woman” because she refused to reveal Michael Hinze’s identity and remains steadfastly loyal despite the personal costs; she refused to be “bought” like so many of the GDR citizens. She knows that if she betrayed Hinze she would be “theirs forever; a stool pigeon and a tame little rat”(220) and so clings to a shred of dignity owing to the tenacious defence of her principles.
  • Against orders, Julia told her family about Room 118 (114). Despite the threats — that there were will be “serious repercussions for her, and possibly for her family, from this break of undertaking of silence” (116) — she does score a victory. They threatened to send a letter to Erick Honeger and so called the Major’s bluff. “We had never really known where the battle was … but we knew we’d won”.  "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" was one of the rare occasions when the “bluff” had been called and she had Stasiland Vce Essay Checker, despite herself.  Eventually, Julia gains a job How To Write Excellent Cover Letter a receptionist at a hotel. (117)
  • Miriam Stasiland Vce Essay Checker remains loyal to the memory of Charlie, and who is obsessed with discovering his fate.
  • Klaus, perhaps thanks to his brand of naivety, was able to protect his integrity. He states that Stasiland Vce Essay Checker does not carry the past around like a wound; he scored an “internal maintaining a clear conscience.

Herr Koch refuses to hand over his precious plate to the Stasi operators. The plate (172) was an award for cultural work undertaken by Herr Koch’s unit (third place) when he was working with the Ministry for State Security. It was not a personal award but he decided to claim it at a time when he was frustrated that he was so easily replaced and had sacrificed much for the State. (It was sheer coincidence that they did not break his marriage.)  Specifically, Herr Koch refused to take the plate down during an interview, as the photographer was annoyed that it was shining in his lens.  A court order was sent in the mail reminding of Herr Koch that all possessions were the Ethiopian Famine 1984 Case Study of the Federal Republic of Germany.  He is charged with perjury because he swore an affidavit to the Ministry that he did not know where the plate was.  The plate becomes a powerful symbol state control; for Herr Koch the plate symbolises his defiance and his triumph affords him a “moment of The Best Way To Start A Research Paper. The fact that the Stasi set up a “Working Group on Plate Re-Procurement” highlights the lengths Stasiland Vce Essay Checker Stasi party employ to subjugate and crush individuals. Although trivial (the plate is only worth 16 Eastern marks); it is a powerful symbol of state control. (180)  He is one of the untold heroes; those who could not be bought (266).

Structurally, Funder begins and ends her memoires with Miriam’s story that charts her pain, her struggle and her transformation.  After her stint in prison, Miriam finds it difficult to make commitments. She will not “plan ahead” (277) and Funder admits that she is hard “to pin down” (278)  Funder realizes Stasiland Vce Essay Checker after years of trying to get in touch with her, she “did not tie herself down with a response” (278)  “Having had her every move anticipated by them for so long, these days, she just wants to let things unroll” (278).

However, despite her reluctance to commit, there are signs that Miriam is ready to confront her future. "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" Funder’s first meeting with Miriam, she is a woman in her Stasiland Vce Essay Checker forties” and wears “a long black sweater and pants” (15) During one of their final meetings she is “dressed entirely in white: loose pants and a flowing top”; (276). The transformation from black to white clothes metaphorically represents the emotional distance that Miriam has travelled in her journey to come to terms with her pain and loss of Charlie.  Also the photograph, from which she had “torn” herself out of existence, is this time, is intact.  (As Funder notes, “I’m glad she has let herself remain in existence in this one” (276).) In fact, the photograph features the young couple seated at a table after their wedding with Charlie “larking around”. Miriam is “extraordinarily beautiful” with a “breathtaking smile”.   As the sun “slants” into the room, painting “half her face golden”, Funder Stasiland Vce Essay Checker upon the "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" of "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" emotional recovery.

The numerous personal Stasiland Vce Essay Checker also reflect that of East Germany itself. There are signs of emotional recovery, but there is a sense that there is still a great deal to achieve. On the one hand, the puzzlers are making a definite attempt to put the pieces back together. This is both a physical and a psychological Stasiland Vce Essay Checker. Funder notes that the “smell of old men” and This American Life Essays “pungent scent” of public toilets is replaced with the “beautiful perfume” of “acacias”, a smell which is “more beautiful, at any rate, than the lions”. It is a place where children ‘spin on swings and roundabouts” which Funder “never noticed were there” before – new beginnings. But the embarrassing lack of interest in the museums and the desire to conceal the past also leads to collective suppression. 

by Dr Jennifer Minter

Stasiland: typical essay questions

  1. “I’ve been having some odd adventures in your country! Curiouser and curiouser – I’ve a lot Stasiland Vce Essay Checker tell.” How does Funder’s perspective on coming to terms with the past evolve through her experiences in Stasiland’?
  2.  “Things have been "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" behind glass, but they are not yet over”. There is no justice achieved in Stasiland. Discuss.
  3. Stasiland demonstrates the irrepressible power of the human spirit and that people can rise above crushing social oppression. Discuss.
  4. Even though "Stasiland Vce Essay Checker" Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Stasiland shows that one can never be free from the horrors of tyranny. To what extent do you agree?
  5. “When I got out of prison, I was basically no longer human.” What do Funder’s interviews reveal about the impact of the Stasi on its survivors?
Useful Exam Revision links
      1. Please Virtual Assistant Cover Letter Samples a sample essay on Stasiland with my comments
      2. Please see further Tips on Text Response and Tips on Writing a comparative-style Essay
      3. Please see Range of notes from students on Stasiland
      4. Please see the latest tips on arguments/language analysis
      5. See also our VCE workbook for students: Arguments and Persuasive Language: an essay-writing guide.



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