Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, Massachusetts

Lauren  Campbell
Ivan Klima: Seeking Happiness Through Means of Escape The Impact of Nazism and Communism on Madeleine Albright’s Life in the 1930s and 1940s
Ivan  Klima
In the novels written by Ivan Klima, the theme of escaping reality to seek happiness is evident. The main characters in each of Klima’s novels possess an inner emptiness which each yearns to escape. The world of reality and heartbreak transforms into a world of illusion and ecstasy. Escapism allows each character to feel free from the burdens that he encounters throughout life. There are many ways to try to overcome these burdens of reality, but the moment of utter happiness in escape does not last for long. Each character longs to hold his ephemeral moment in the palm of his hand and never wants to loosen his grip; however, the moment gradually slips away because it is not real. The characters of Klima’s novels encounter betrayal and more emptiness because each delusion is only momentary escape from the real void of his life.

Both Ivan Klima and Madeleine Albright experienced the oppression that Czechoslovakia faced. Madeleine Albright’s personal life throughout the 1930s and 1940s was profoundly affected by the occurrence of significant twentieth century events including Nazism, World War II, and communism. Her family encountered the horrors of war and oppression throughout this disastrous period. Adolf Hitler began to dominate her family’s homeland as one step in his strategy to dominate all of Europe. Jews suffered under the power of Hitler. Albright’s life was affected by her Jewish background, which her family desperately tried to hide in order to survive. However, Hilter’s power increased and members of Albright’s extended family suffered because of prejudice against Jews.

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