How about never growing up? The main character of the book, Oscar,
stopped growing at the early age. He simply denied becoming an adult.
Observing his Polish mother cheating on her German father, his
relatives connected to the Nazi movement, Oscar thought it better to
remain a child. Yet there is something extraordinary in him. Like no
one else he can notice the up coming tragdy of the Second World War,
objectively describing all sides of the conflict.
The Tin Drum is not only a book on people. It is also a story on Polish
- German relations, in their complexity and tragedy of the past. Oscar
was brought up in a mixed family - his mother was Polish (so was her
lover) and his father not only was a German but also intesively
supported NSDAP - the Hitler's party. When the war eventually breaks
off, everything changes.
Grass writes about Poles and Germans un suprisingly objective way. That
is why he becomes a scape goat from the both side of the Oder river.
Yet his books, The Tin Drum in particular, present a clear and true
picture of the two countries and two nationalities. For everyone
interested in history and human relations, the book is a must read!