Study Guide

The Tin Drum Chapter 29

By Günter Grass

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Chapter 29

The Dusters

  • Oskar doesn't want to follow in Christ's footsteps, but his vision of Jesus speaking to him has been so jarring that he spends the next few weeks wandering around Danzig and using his voice to shatter windows at random.
  • One day, he sees a group of young people, some of them children, following him. As he continues to walk, the group starts to get closer, until Oskar finally tries to make an escape.
  • It's no use, though. The group catches him, and their leader (a kid named Stortebeker) demands to know his name.
  • Oskar doesn't want to tell them his real name, so he just says his name is Jesus.
  • The kids aren't impressed with his answer. They threaten to hurt him. But instead, their leader decides that what he really wants is for Oskar to demonstrate how he's able to break glass with his voice.
  • The kids have been following him for a while, now, and they know that there's some connection between the broken glass they're seeing and Oskar.
  • Without further ado, Oskar busts all the windows in a nearby factory, which causes the kids to break out into applause. They resolve to make Oskar the new leader of their gang, which is called "The Dusters."
  • It turns out that The Dusters is a group of youths who have a beef against all adults everywhere. They don't care about the Nazis or Communists, but they constantly assault people from these groups and break into military buildings to steal weapons and ammunition.
  • Oh yeah, these kids really aren't messing around. Their one big plan is to eventually lead a massive assault on a German government building while all the workers are still inside.

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