The Reader, By Bernhard Schlink

1374 Words6 Pages
The period between the wars was a very difficult time in Germany. The currency was enormously depreciated and there were extreme poverty, depression, and political instability. When the Nazis took power in 1933, horror was their method of achieving their goals. Fear and violence became very common among a society that was still in shock after the First World War. In the book The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink, one of the main themes is a conflict with the inner-self. This is seen throughout the book when Michael is young and indecisive between spending time with Hanna or his new friends, when Hanna is on trial and does not know whether to confess her illiteracy or accept being declared guilty, and finally when an older Michael is trying to decide on whether he should save Hanna or respect her dignity. In the beginning of the book, young Michael Berg becomes intimately close to Hanna, an older woman with whom he shares a relationship. The conflict with the inner-self is seen through the character of Michael, whose thoughts are shared to us by the author. Schlink writes: “But I was annoyed by her bad temper, and I wanted to be somewhere else, at the pool, away with my classmates, swept up in the exuberance of our talk, our banter, our games, and our flirtations” (Schlink 73). When Michael first meets Hanna, he is intrigued and seduced by this older woman who flirts with him and pays attention to him. They become lovers and he spends most of his time with her when he is not at
Open Document