Synopsis for Books 5-6, Berlin Alexanderplatz
Books five and six in Doblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz detail a large plot progression and many thematic ideas for the novel.Among these thematic ideas are the heavy consumption in society (in this case within the city of Berlin) and perhaps the futility of more "noble" actions in a society that seems only full of sin.
Throughout the earlier part of the novel, and not surprisingly in these two books as well, we have depictions of a highly capitalist society.Berliners strike me very much as we may today call "mass consumers".The array of good and services, some good and many bad, further the idea of a society marked by heavy consumption.The excerpt about the play in the Berlin theater is a great example.Doblinfirst mentions the play, and goes on to detail the many various reasons an individual may or may not go to the see the play (sleep was one reason noted why an individual may not go).This is just one example, in addition to the many we've seen earlier in the book, where we have the opportunity to see things that are privileges, but are yet neglected.At the same time, it must be noted that as a proliferation of good and services are available, many are still homeless in the streets.Second, Reinhold serves as a great example to consumerism.He does not know exactly why he likes particular women, or further why he always seems to never like them after a month or so.All that is certain is that he really enjoys women and that he runs through them as it suits his mood.
Franz Biberkopf was released from Tegel with an attitude that he was going to live on the "up and up" from that moment forward.He tries to do so early in the novel, and he finds himself quickly in dismay to learn that people aren't as good as he would like to believe. He withdrew from society, for the most part, and went on a drinking binge that lasted …