What are some good essay titles for a portfolio on The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum by Boll? 

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Well, it would be a really good idea to ultimately allow your students to come up with their own ideas for an essay on The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum.  In addition to the extent that Katharina is guilty of murder, I have compiled another list for you.  Although you failed to mention the age or the ability level of your students, here are a few essay prompts that might be an appropriate fit:

  • Discuss the cause and the effect of violence as seen in The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum.
  • How is The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum a perfect example of how German society differs from our own?
  • How does The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum show both the "misuse and abuse of language" (especially in regards to Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language."
  • What are some ways that sex relates to violence in The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum?
  • Explain why Totges says that lies “help simple people express themselves more clearly."  How do the characters in The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum prove or disprove this point.
  • Explain how the police investigation of Katharina in The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum damages the rest of her life.
  • In The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, how are the classes or status of the particular characters (such as Katharina as simple housekeeper and Hubert Blorna as big-wig attorney) an indicator of their success of failure in life.
  • How do the issues in The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum reflect the issues in Heinrich Boll's own life (especially in regards to the terrors involved in police investigation).

All of these ideas, of course, could be simplified for a younger audience.  However, considering some of the language and adult content of this novel, I assumed your students were of later high school age or older.  Good luck in giving your assignment.

 

 

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

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