Study Guide

The Tin Drum Chapter 35

By Günter Grass

Chapter 35

Flintstones and Gravestones

  • Once he gets out of the hospital, Oskar returns to his new home with Maria and Kurt.
  • Kurt's quite the little businessman. He manages to find a source for flintstones in Düsseldorf and shows himself to be a wiz at selling them.
  • Maria's proven to be a good businesswoman, too. She earns a good bit of money selling synthetic honey on the black market. (Note to self: synthetic honey? Look up.)
  • Oskar's left feeling like a total mooch because he doesn't know how to contribute to the family income.
  • In search of something to do, he ends up wandering around Düsseldorf and starts walking through graveyards, since he finds that graveyards have always inspired him.
  • He sees a man putting up a stone monument over a grave. Oskar likes what he sees and asks the man if he's willing to take on an apprentice stonecutter.
  • The man seems reluctant at first because of Oskar's size, but Oskar eventually convinces him.
  • Next thing you know, Oskar's doing pretty well with his stonecutting business.
  • Kurt's flintstone source has dried up, and Maria's synthetic honey stops selling, so Oskar becomes the breadwinner of the house. That at least restores his sense of pride.