Sunday, September 30, 2018

Action Will Be Taken by Heinrich Boll Review

"Action Will Be Taken" is a short story written by Nobel Prize laureate, German writer Heinrich Boll. The story belongs to the genre of satire. The narrator told the story of his working in Alfred Wunsiedel's factory.

He started the story with the statement that, "By nature, I am inclined more to pensiveness and inactivity than to work" but as it appeared, he was the only one who understood the tragedy of being there.

The slogan "Action Will Be Taken" was used by the characters of the story everywhere. They used to show for the public their loyalty to the specific social values. The narrator accepted it. In the last part of the story, when the owner of the factory, Wunsiedel, declared “let's have some action!”, the narrator delayed with an answer. This is what happened next:
"Wunsiedel, who seldom raised his voice, shouted at me: “Answer! Answer, you know the rules!” And I answered, under my breath, reluctantly, like a child who is forced to say: I am a naughty child. It was only by a great effort that I managed to bring out the sentence: “Action will be taken.”

It was late, Wunsiedel was already dead. The narrator participated in his funeral as a mourner and mourning became his new job.

The story gives a good subject for discussion about the social problems, an attitude of the individual for the life and so on. The ability of the author to present a plot with a great sense of humor added motivation to read it.

This is the link to the text of the story:

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