Study Guide

The Tin Drum What's Up With the Title?

By Günter Grass

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What's Up With the Title?

Quick trivia question: is The Tin Drum the original name of this book? Nope, it's Die Blechtrommel, which is translated as The Tin Drum. (We're total sticklers for truth in advertising.) Anyway, the title seems self-explanatory, since Oskar's tin drum is the most important thing in his life and the one constant throughout. And, as we discuss in our "Symbols" section, it's easy to read symbolic meaning into the different ways Oskar uses his drums as he grows up.

Since Oskar spent much of his childhood drumming instead of speaking, the drum is the way Oskar's able to tell us the story of his life, and the novel is just that.

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