“She put her arms around me, one hand on my chest… ‘That’s why you’re here!’ ‘I...’ I didn’t know what to say. Not yes, but not no either. I couldn’t see much of her, we were standing too close. But I was overwhelmed by the presence of her naked body.” (Schlink 24)
The section of text that this quote is from disgusted and greatly shocked me, not because the two characters were intimate, but because the main character Michael was fifteen and the woman he was intimate with, Hanna, was in her early thirties. The author Bernhard Schlink is able to elicit this response from the reader because the scene is so aberrant and unexpected.
“I had woken up early, dressed quietly, and crept out of the room. I wanted to bring up breakfast and also see if I could find a flower shop open where I could get a rose for Hanna. I had left a note on the night table… When I returned, she was standing in the room, trembling with rage and white-faced… ‘Don’t touch me.’ She was holding the narrow leather belt that she wore around her dress; she took a step backwards and hit me across the face with it. My lip split and I tasted blood.” (Schlink 54-55)
This text horrified me. Hanna had previously been verbally abusive of Michael, but this time she hit him. I am not sure what horrified me more, the fact that she abused him, or the fact that he came crawling back every time, apologizing for thing he had not done so that he could be with her again. The author uses the weight of the concept of physical abuse to evoke feelings of outrage and horror from the reader
“When Sophie saw me looking at her, she turned and smiled at me… We were translating the Odyssey… When it was my turn, it took me only a few seconds to find my place and translate. After the teach...
... middle of paper ...
...el’s self-inflicted numbness to make the reader feel pity towards him and disgust at Hanna.
“Next morning, Hanna was dead. She had hanged herself at daybreak.” (Schlink 203)
Hanna’s suicide left me shocked and confused. She had been in prision for eighteen years and she hanged herself the night before her release. She could not face the outside world after so many years cloistered from it. Her suicide made me think that her affair with Michael had left her scarred too. Michael could no longer bear getting close to others. Perhaps Hanna was the same way. Perhaps she did not want to face a world with him in it, just as he had to shut her out of his world in order to function. The author announces Hanna’s suicide without preamble and so abruptly that the reader is left to question her motives and, hopefully, to reach a conclusion about her that the author intended.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Every year or so, something happens in the media that brings us all back to the atrocities of World War II, and the German persecution of the Jews. It seems that the horrors of that time can only be digested and understood in small bites. How else can we personalize and comprehend a tragedy of that magnitude. Most of what we read and view in the media about the holocaust is a perspective from the Jewish experience. Recently, however, a question has been posed in regards to finding closure with that troubling piece of history from the German conscience.... [tags: essays research papers]
1549 words (4.4 pages)
- The Reader Book Review, by Alexandra De La Rosa. (Vintage International, 1995, 218pp. $11.35) Bernhard Schlink is a German lawyer, philosopher, and writer. He wrote the book The Reader which is semi-autobiographical. The book tells a story of how a fifteen year old boy falls in love with a thirty-six year old women. The book is set in 1950s Germany after World War II. In part one of the book the relationship between Hanna and Michael develops. Michael meets Hanna when he gets sick on his way home and she helps him and takes him home.... [tags: The Reader, Bernhard Schlink, Writing]
829 words (2.4 pages)
- The essence of romantic love is the passionate affection one has for another. As Bernhard Schlink favours love over hate, and narrates both the positive effects of a relationship and the negative effects of a breakup, he is portrayed as a proponent of love. Bernhard Schlink uses his novel, The Reader, to express his feelings on the unexpected love between the characters, Hanna and Michael convey both the positive and negative effects of their love. Schlink also uses their relationship to showcase the form of love they possess for one another.... [tags: romantic love, break up]
1144 words (3.3 pages)
- Then, I also leaned over my step daddy 's bed to give him a hug before leaving and was careful not to put any pressure on him, especially his broken arm. As I kissed him on his cheek, I slipped the bag which contained the cheeseburger and fries—Which I had tucked away in my jacket so I could get past the myriad of doctors and nurses. But only one nurse had looked at me as I slipped past her down the hall, and dear Lord, she was older than dirt, so I didn 't suspect that she had suspected anything—into his good hand.... [tags: Family, Anxiety]
1291 words (3.7 pages)
- 1 Confrontation I couldn’t take it any longer. Almost six months passed, and I still felt that I needed to talk to Trevor. I was tired of calling him and never getting an answer. I know that he did me dirty, but there was something about him that I yearned for. Maybe it was a relationship, sex, or just an apology. I wasn’t sure. I can truthfully say that I’m no longer in love with him, but I still love him and care for him a great deal. I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take for me to get over him.... [tags: 2007 singles, 2006 singles]
2111 words (6 pages)
- She’s been trying to broaden your horizons, as you put it, so she could see how you reacted to people who had a different way of enjoying relationships. If you reacted favourably, then I would bet money on the fact she would have told you when she was ready to share it with you. She wasn’t trying to purposely leave you out. She was making sure you would not consider her a freak and end your friendship.” Lila let the words sink in. She felt betrayed and hurt by her long time friend. Here she was waiting for the other shoe to drop with Keith and it turned out it was Rachael who had the bomb all along.... [tags: Thought, Idea, 2006 singles, Friendship]
1146 words (3.3 pages)
- I grew up in a family which is between non-religion and religion. Why do I say that is that my father doesn 't believe in any religions at all while my mother believes in Buddhism. When I was a little girl, my mother liked to take me to various temper and asked me to knelt and kowtow to those image of Buddha or Bodhisattvas. At that time, I haven 't known anything about what is religion yet. Since my mother asked me to do that, I just did. As time passing, it becomes a habit to me. Every time I go to a temper, I just knelt and kowtow consciously.... [tags: Religion, Islam, 2006 albums, 1998 albums]
1056 words (3 pages)
- Schlink's The Reader and Kafka's Metamorphosis "And I know I'm reading one of the finest statements ever made on alienation and cruelty, on how we kill those whom we will not love and will not try to save. . . . As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect." (Kafka, 3,67) The blood-tempered tradition of European revolution facilitated the rise of the Weimar republic in a convoluted, indirect manner, leaving its people unsatisfied with their newfound power.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
688 words (2 pages)
- Having someone there for you and listening to whatever you need to let out is very crucial. People depend on others to guide them through what they are going through. With Mabegzo, he didn’t really have anybody there for him, he had his friends, but men have this notion that letting your feelings out is feminine. I believe Mabegzo liked Redi so much because she listened and let him speak of whatever was on his mind. When you talk things out with someone you think of better ways to solve your problems and become more rational.... [tags: Thought, Writing, Performing arts, Mind]
876 words (2.5 pages)
- I Didn’t Know My Dad was a Writer It came as a complete shock to me when I read an essay that looked as if it was taken straight from my father’s mouth. My father and the author could have been neighbors if not for the four states between Ohio and Texas. The essay is about the author, Scott Russell Sanders’, attempt to understand what women feel that they are missing; when in his experiences a man life has little if any privileges. I relate in every way with the author’s ideas. There is nothing I can’t connect with because I’ve heard these stories since I was two and see it all in my head.... [tags: essays research papers]
440 words (1.3 pages)