Study Guide

The Tin Drum Chapter 32

By Günter Grass

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Chapter 32

Should I or Shouldn't I?

  • The whole family attends Alfred's funeral; a Jewish man who has survived the Nazi concentration camps also attends. His family was murdered in the concentration camp Treblinka, but he still talks aloud to all of them as if they were alive.
  • When Alfred's being buried, Oskar feels the need to cast his drum into the grave to be buried with Alfred. Remember that Oskar's drum and his decision to stop growing were always a sort of protection against having to live the life Alfred wanted for him.
  • But now that both of his parents (along with Uncle Jan) are dead, it's time for Oskar to start living on his own terms.
  • But here's a weird detail. After Oskar chucks his drum into Alfred's grave, his body miraculously starts growing again for the first time in over fifteen years. Oskar can feel his bones growing almost immediately. And the serial funeral-goer named Crazy Leo seems to sense it immediately, too.
  • The chapter ends with Crazy Leo running around and yelling out, "He's growing, he's growing…"

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