The Zookeeper's Wife Themes

Diane Ackerman
This Study Guide consists of approximately 60 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Zookeeper's Wife.
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Animal Motif

Ackerman centers the book around an animal motif, which is fitting since Antonina and Jan ran the Warsaw Zoo and animals were an integral part of their lives. Ackerman uses the motif to strengthen themes, explain human behavior, and show the passing of time.

The animal motif is used to strengthen the themes about family, home, and compassion. Several animals were members of the Zabinski family throughout the course of the book, including a badger, a rabbit, a chicken, a hamster, and a pig. Ackerman pays attention to the descriptions and stories of these animals in the same way she does the Guests who also become members of the family. The theme of home is strengthened through the animal motif when Ackerman explains that Antonina believed animals were essential to making a house a home because they brought a sense of curiosity and fun. They also provided...

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This section contains 2,055 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Zookeeper's Wife Study Guide
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