A Guide to Berlin Characters

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After the narrator, the unnamed listener—the narrator's regular drinking partner—is the most important character in "A Guide to Berlin." The narrator introduces him in the story's first sentence as his friend, and it is to him that he narrates the odd guide to Berlin that comprises the bulk of the story. Although he is deemed "the listener," he, ironically, is the only character who speaks in the story. When the reader first hears him in the story's last section, he is scornfully rejecting the narrator's guide and complains that the city it purports to describe is, in any event, "boring," "foreign," and "expensive." One view of the listener's role in the story is that he represents the blinkered, unimaginative, ordinary world, trapped in its own present and unable to see the glimpses of the future that sustain the narrator's spirit.

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This section contains 346 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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Short Stories for Students
A Guide to Berlin from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.