Summary Of The Swallow Man

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Section 1, Passage 1 “There was no question that the tall stranger was not a reassuring presence. There was a menace to him, a quiet intensity that was no way akin to the sort of quality that people cultivate in order to attract the affections of children. All the same though, there was something in him--perhaps the part, that had spoken so easily to the swallow--that fascinated her.” (22)

After her father is taken by soldiers, a family friend, Herr Fuchsmann, allows Anna to stay at his shop. When Doktor Fuchmann decides he can no longer care for Anna, he kicks her out. While sitting on the curb, Anna meets the Swallow Man. This passage is the first time Anna sees the Swallow Man. She is instantly drawn to him. This passage’s description of the Swallow Man stood out to me. The author describes the character as both reassuring and mencing. This mix of opposite traits captures the Swallow Man perfectly throughout the book: he is a wonderful caretaker to Anna, but in certain circumstances, can become a completely different person.

Section 2, Passage 2 “Your name is just like your shoes,’ said the tall man. ‘You have to be able to get rid of it to give it over to someone else.’ ‘All right,’ said Anna. ‘So,’ said the thin man. ‘You’ll give your name to me? You still get to hold it, but when someone calls it out, or asks you what yours is, you must remember: “Anna” isn’t you name.” (48)

After he allows Anna to join him, the Swallow Man begins teaching her how to survive a war.

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