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Introduction & Overview of Exchanging Glances by Christa Wolf

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Exchanging Glances.
This section contains 228 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
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Exchanging Glances Summary & Study Guide Description

Exchanging Glances 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 Further Reading on Exchanging Glances by Christa Wolf.


"Exchanging Glances", or "Blickwechsel," as it is known in the original German, was first published in Germany in 1974 in a collection titled Gesammelte Erzahlungen. The story appeared in English translation in 1993 in a collection named after and including Christa Wolf s most controversial novella, What Remains and Other Stories. In "Exchanging Glances," Wolf began to explore her memories of her childhood and the effects that World War II had on her and her view of the world.

The story's German perspective is unique for most American and western European readers. The events that the narrator recalls in the story take place in the closing days of World War II when Hitler's regime was collapsing and Russia's Red Army was marching through what is now Poland, where Wolf and her family had lived. She recounts watching American planes strafe the ragged columns of German families attempting to move to safety; hearing the news of Hitler's death; and watching Polish hired men abandon their oxcarts and turn back the other way. But the most chilling of all her memories, and the moment that gives the story its title, is the encounter the fleeing families have with liberated survivors of concentration camps. Wolf's courageous portrayal of the complex emotions of the moment—and the memory—explains why she is regarded as one of the most important German writers of her generation.

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This section contains 228 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Exchanging Glances Study Guide
Exchanging Glances from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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