The Neverending Story Overview

This Study Guide consists of approximately 59 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Neverending Story.
This section contains 369 words
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The Neverending Story Summary & Study Guide Description

The Neverending Story 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 Related Titles/Adaptations and a Free Quiz on The Neverending Story by Michael Ende.

The Neverending Story is a wonderfully imaginative story, with incredible settings, astonishing characters, and a series of cliffhanger episodes. Ende's book describes what landscape and life might be in a different world. The novel begins with the hero, Bastian Balthazar Bux, a fat ten-to-twelve-year-old boy, stealing a book and hiding in the school attic to read it. He does not want to go to class; he wants to escape his unhappy life. He is immediately caught up in the story, which begins with a will-o'-thewisp meeting a rock chewer, a nighthob, and a tiny in the Howling Forest; he learns that all of them are going to see the Childlike Empress. They want to report to her that the Nothing is overtaking Fantastica. Atreyu, the hero of the first half of the novel, his friend Falkor, the luckdragon, and other marvelous characters search for a way to stop the Nothing's steady advance, but they are unable to find any. Only a human can do so by believing in Fantastica and giving it new life through renaming the Childlike Empress. Bastian becomes the human hero who does so; Bastian's story and Fantastica's story merge in the middle of the novel. Bastian becomes a character in the book he is reading, and he creates this book through his wishes in the second half of the novel. After doing so, he discovers his wishes are often foolish, mean, or egotistical. He finally separates himself from the world he has created and returns to the human world, to his father and to the bookseller whose book he stole.

The novel contains more than surprising settings, characters, and actions.

Like other good fantasies, it serves as a metaphor for human life. It tells the story of a physical and spiritual quest, of Bastian's growth in creativity, compassion, and confidence. In the telling, it raises questions about friendship, the function of literature and imagination, the problems of growing up, and the relationship of wishes and reality. Many people have recognized these deeper levels of the novel. The Neverending Story has been translated into about twenty-five languages, has been a best seller throughout the world, and has won literary awards in Germany, Italy, and Poland.

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This section contains 369 words
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