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Conflict in a Dangerous Spring

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Essay title: Conflict in a Dangerous Spring

In the novel Dangerous Spring, by Margot Benary-Isbert, conflict is a reoccurring theme between many characters and events that provides the driving force for actions in the story. The story takes place during the final days of World War II. Although this point in time provides the basis for the conflict, there are many other situations where conflict is shown. The main character, Karen Lorenz, experiences the most of this trouble. Conflict is the theme that is shown best in this story, because there are many situations that build up. We then see the resolution of each situation.

The story begins in spring on Easter Monday, April 2nd, of 1945. Karin Lorenz and her family live in the small town of Erfurt in Germany. The Lorenz family hears news that the Allied invasion is expected to be storming through into surrounding areas of Erfurt. Conflict is immediately shown here in that there is war taking place between Germany and the Allies. The advance of the Allies causes Karen to attempt to convince her family to escape to Eberstein, where Pastor Helmut Lobelius, Karen’s boyfriend, lives. Helmut had invited the family numerous times, but Karen’s father was against the idea because he is a doctor and needs to tend to his increasing number of patients. Karen’s parents also believe they are in safety because they deem that there is not much fighting left to do. This shows conflict in that Karen’s parents do not believe in her ideas. They think she is just an impractical girl with a silly idea, and they believe that everything will be fine with time. Word is then heard that Erfurt is in the path of the Allies and that the town is to be invaded soon. Karen finally persuades her parents they need to escape Erfurt while there is still time. At the close of the novel, the war resolves to an end. The Lorenz family returns home to a war-damaged Erfurt. Another resolution is that Karen grows more mature and her parents learn to listen to her more.

Karen’s brother, Till, is a very strong supporter of Hitler at the beginning of the novel. He was involved in the Hitler Youth Movement, called the H.J. Till was carefree, daring, and brave at the beginning. Till must leave the H.J. when the family leaves for Eberstein. While Till’s family is staying at Helmut’s, Till meets a girl who offers him work at her father’s farm. Till agrees and although he doesn’t get paid well, he works out of having nothing else to do. Till slowly becomes a caring and gentle young man. This is conflicting to the feelings his family originally had for him. They all believed he was a rough and tough boy who was always sure to find trouble. He shows them that he no longer believed in war and violence, but that he now believed in helping others and becoming a pleasant boy. Like many others, Till finds that Hitler and the German Army are committing many evil crimes. He evolves from a supporter of Hitler to a supporter of the victims of the war.

While in Eberstein, Carola, Karen’s mother, realizes the extent of the love between Karen and Helmut. Carola and Dr. Lorenz are partly against this relationship. They think that Karen, at 17 years of age, is too young for Helmut, who is much older than her. Helmut has a bad hip and a missing left eye, as a result of his experience in the Flanders campaign of World War II. Helmut is described as having a face that was ‘almost ugly when he was not speaking or laughing’. Carola did not understand how Karen could be attracted to such a man as this. This begins a conflict that is continued through the entire novel. Carola allows the relationship to go on, but worries a lot that Helmut will ask to marry her daughter. While in Eberstein, Carola realizes how dedicated and dignified of a man Helmut really is. Helmut has a conversation in which Carola expresses her growing

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