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Anna and the Swallow Man Summary & Study Guide

Gavriel Savit
This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Anna and the Swallow Man.
This section contains 532 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Anna and the Swallow Man Study Guide

Anna and the Swallow Man Summary & Study Guide Description

Anna and the Swallow Man Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit.

This study guide was created using the following version of this book: Savit, Gavriel. Anna and the Swallow Man. Alfred A Knopf. 2016.

Anna and the Swallow Man tells the story of a Anna, a young girl living in Poland during World War II. After her father, an academic, is rounded up by the Gestapo, she is left in the care of her father's friend Herr Doktor Fuchsmann. While Anna is unaware that her father is never returning, Herr Doktor Fuchsmann abandons her.

Left alone in the city, Anna is not sure what to do. She is locked out of her apartment and is left to her own devices. She encounters a tall, nameless man whom she learns to call the Swallow Man. Although he is reluctant, the Swallow Man takes Anna under his wing.

He teaches her his methods for avoiding getting caught during the war. His true identity remains elusive and he explains to Anna that is key for their survival. He tells her that it is best that she pretend that he is her father and that she not use her name. In fact, he does not believe that a name should be used at all. He teaches her to let people offer to help instead of asking for their help as well.

He teaches her how to live off what they find in the forest. The Swallow Man keeps them out of the cities and they take different routes to different place. When they encounter Reb Hirschl, Anna befriends him quickly. The Swallow Man does not want Reb Hirschl to join them, but does not explain to Anna why he does not want a Jewish man to join them.

Anna wears the Swallow Man down and Reb Hirschl joins them on their journey. The two men do not like one another. Reb Hirschl is warm toward Anna, while the Swallow Man remains aloof. As they continue through the forest, they encounter a Peddler who tries to sell them food, including offering them meat the Swallow Man knows came from a human.

When the Peddler tries to negotiate with Swallow Man and Reb Hirschl for alone time with Anna, Swallow Man takes matters into his own hands. He kills the Peddler to protect them. While Reb Hirschl does not approve of what the Swallow Man has done, he understands it. He decides to go out on his own and later the Swallow Man and Anna find Reb Hirschl's body hanging from a tree.

Along their journey, the Swallow Man has been taking medication three times a day. When he finally runs out of the pills, Anna begins to notice changes in his behavior. When they reach a country estate, Anna believes the Swallow Man is going mad. She is able to negotiate with a pharmacist to show him her body in exchange for the pills. Once Swallow Man begins taking his medication, his behavior begins to return to normal.

Swallow Man finally gets Anna to a fisherman and puts her on a boat to sail for a neutral country. He stays behind him, but makes sure she will be safe through the end of the war.

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This section contains 532 words
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