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Guilt responsibility and coincidence in Mulischs novel The Assault In this essay I shall explore the issues of guilt responsibility and coincidence which appear in Harry Mulischs novel The Assault Mulischs works are quite autobiographical and historical as there is a great relationship between his life and his novels especially in the one I am going to deal with I start with a brief biography followed by a detailed summary of the novel and finally come my personal reflection about the issues already mentioned An authors biography Harry Mulisch is Hollands most important post-war writer Born in Haarlem Holland in 1927 to a Jewish mother whose family died in the concentration camps and an Austro-Hungarian father who was jailed after the war for collaborating with the Nazis Mulisch feels a particularly charged connection with the Second World War frequently the subject of his work He has received Hollands highest awards for his novels plays poems and essays Among his works the best known are his novels The Assault 1982 Last Call 1985 and The Discovery of Heaven 1992 This essay focuses on his novel The Assault The context of the work is set between 1945 -the end of the Second World War- and 1982 -around the end of the Cold War This story based on a true event has as its central event the murder of a Dutch policeman who collaborated with Nazi occupants by some communists who belonged to the resistance Structurally the novel is divided into a prologue and five episodes The prologue describes the place where young Anton and his family lived this was Haarlem Holland during the Second World War At this time the north of the country was still occupied by the Nazis The first episode takes place in 1945 It tell us how the Dutch collaborator was killed while he was riding his bike in front of a neighbourhood of four houses and his body fell in front
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