Study Guide

The Tin Drum Chapter 26

By Günter Grass

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Chapter 26

Bebra's Theater at the Front

  • In 1942, Oskar tells us, his son Kurt turned one year old. But Oskar goes on to note that he was not present for Kurt's second birthday because certain business took him away from home.
  • It's 1941, and Oskar once again runs into his friends Bebra the clown and Roswitha Raguna.
  • Bebra's now a Captain in the German army, and all the full-grown officers look at him with admiration. This makes Oskar feel good about his own height and about the things he might achieve.
  • Oskar gets into a car with Bebra and Roswitha and rides with them for a while. As they go, he and Roswitha stroke each other's hands. Oskar sees that Bebra has glimpsed them in the rear view mirror.
  • They go to a cafĂ© together, and once again, Bebra and Roswitha ask Oskar to come join their travelling show. They'll perform for German soldiers at the front lines.
  • Oskar takes some time to think it over, but only for the sake of not looking hasty. He accepts and decides to go with them.
  • Oskar heads back home, packs his stuff, washes up, and leaves without saying goodbye to anyone.
  • Next thing you know, Oskar is performing with Bebra's troupe, showing off his drumming skills and his glass-cutting voice.
  • At the end of this chapter, Oskar recalls the first time he and Roswitha had sex. It's definitely the most romantic and genuine sexual experience Oskar's had so far, since it's pretty clear in this situation that it was consensual and that both he and Roswitha were happy about it.
  • Oskar closes the chapter by saying once again that he has no clue whether Roswitha is nineteen or ninety years old.

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