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Literary Precedents for The Reader

This Study Guide consists of approximately 56 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Reader.
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As Ernestine Schlant has observed, The Reader belongs to a category she has labeled "literature about fathers and mothers", penned by the children of the generation of Germans who lived through the Nazi regime in an attempt to make sense of what took place. Michael asks himself, "What should our second generation have done, what should it do with the knowledge of the horrors of the extermination of the Jews?" These novels attempt to grapple with how the new generation should channel its collective guilt and its knowledge of the human capacity for evil. Such works are also usually a way of examining the blame that is apportioned to the parental generation, either because of its complicity with the Nazis or because of its failure to act against the Third Reich. Michael Berg enacts such a process when he goes to speak to his father about Hanna and...

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This section contains 406 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Reader Study Guide
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