Social isolation- Mark Hogancamp essay

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After a vicious attack, Mark suffers immense brain damage and has little memory of his life.  Due to financial constrain he is prematurely discharged from hospital and he struggles to recover his life.  He appreciates his lack of memory but realizes that he can utilize his imagination. In the process, Mark creates Marwencol, a town that comprises of soldiers in a post war era in his backyard. The puppets depict wounded, dead and surviving soldiers. Just like the people in Marwenco, he has to rebuild his life. Mark creates a social scene that serves as an outlet for his emotions. The objects show continuity after a traumatic event such as war. As hard as it may be, life moves on for the townsmen. Their experience is quite similar to Mark as he has to rebuild his life from scraps and nothing.

In Marwencol, he is a soldier who survives a plane crash. He is welcomed by desolate barbies (beautiful young women) as their men have died in the war. As a rule in the town, all people must be friends.  Warring factions that comprise of German and American soldiers are staged as friends. The Germans and Americans share cigarettes and enjoy the entertaining cat fights. This is an attempt to do away with the enmity created at war. There are several relationships in Marwencol. Romantic relationships stand out between men and women. Mark decries his inability to remember his wife and the kind of intimacy they shared. This inspires him to create romantic relationships and he is involved with several young women. The social set up is a means to regain a normal sense of interaction. The SS Nazi German raid the town in pursuit of the bar. This represents Mark’s earlier life as an alcoholic before the brain damage. Mark refuses to reveal the location and he dies.  The murderous soldiers are as destructive as Mark’s earlier addiction to alcohol. A mark is made on the left side of his face and this depicts brain damage on the right side of the brain. In conclusion, Marwencol is well played out in accordance with Mark’s goal to create a social scene that depicts his experience.

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