Study Guide

The Tin Drum Chapter 30

By Günter Grass

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Chapter 30

The Christmas Play

  • Now that they've made Oskar their leader, Oskar decides to change their plans. Instead of preparing for a bloody battle, he tells the gang that they're going to prepare for a "Christmas Play."
  • We're not sure at all what he means by this, but we know it'll be something weird.
  • And weird is right. One night, Oskar and the Dusters break into the Catholic Church housing the Jesus statue. Oskar orders the dusters to take out their hacksaws and to remove the baby Jesus from the Virgin Mary's lap.
  • Oskar has no interest in following in Jesus' footsteps. Instead, he wants to replace Jesus altogether, both spiritually and literally.
  • Once the Dusters have removed the baby Jesus, they dress up Oskar as a baby and put him in Jesus' place on Mary's lap.
  • The police bust in and arrest all the Dusters. They're totally stunned by the sight of Oskar sitting in Jesus's place. One of the officers even recognizes Oskar as Alfred Matzerath's son and wonders how they're going to handle the situation.

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