Stones from the River Essay

This essay has a total of 3088 words and 14 pages.


Stones from the River





1. Synopsis of “Stones from the River”
Trudi Montag was growing up during the World Wars in Burgdorf, Germany. She lived with
her father, Leo, and helped him run their pay library. When she was young her mother,
Gertrude, went insane, and died at the asylum. Trudi could remember how her mother used
to run away, and after her father carried her home, he would lock her up in the attic, to
try to prevent her from escaping again. She always did escape, and Trudi usually found
her outside, hiding under the stairs. Trudi would spend time with her mother in the
attic, or under the stairs. In the attic, the two would play with the paper dolls Leo
gave his wife, and Gertrude would teach Trudi how to escape from the attic. Under the
stairs, Gertrude told Trudi of her affair with her husband’s friend, Emil, and how
she fell off his motorcycle one day, and skinned her knee. Her knee healed, but the
stones could be felt beneath her skin if she let someone try to feel for them. That very
same day Leo got shot in the knee in the First World War, and had to come home, and would
forever walk with a limp. Gertrude blamed herself for her husband’s injury, just as
Trudi blamed herself for her mother’s death.

Trudi was born a dwarf, a Zwerg, in German. Trudi felt that if she were a normal
baby/child, then her mother would have never tried to run away. Trudi thought that it was
her fault her mother went insane, and had to go to an asylum, where her mother died.
Although Trudi’s father told her it was not her fault her mom died, she blamed
herself anyway. Trudi and her dad became close, and would spend their time playing,
reading, walking, or working in the library together. At the end of the book, Trudi felt
a great lose when her dad died the day after his birthday. Ever since his friend Emil
died, and Mrs. Abramowitz was taken away for being a Jew in WW II, Leo grew weak, and
seemed to give up his will to live.

Trudi hated the fact that she was a dwarf, and began to hang from doorframes in attempt to
stretch her body. She would also tie her mother’s scarves around her head to keep
it from growing at night and pray everyday to grow. She asked the town doctor how to make
her grow, and even drank some “magic potion” from a man who said it would make
her grow. Trudi had no friends in school, and every child made fun of her, expect those
who were also “different.” Trudi had one friend when she was young; a boy
named George Weiler. George’s mom wanted a girl, so she dressed George in stockings
and blouses, and refused to cut his hair. The children shunned him for looking like a
girl, so George also had no friends like Trudi. One day Trudi convinced George to let her
cut his hair, and he agreed. His mother was very mad, but George looked a boy, and the
other boys began to be friends with him. Trudi was mad at herself for cutting his hair
and as George began to play with the boys, their friendship soon diminished. Trudi became
friends with Eva Rosen, the Doctor’s daughter. Eva showed Trudi her birthmark that
was on her chest, and Trudi went and told everyone. Eva stopped talking to Trudi the day
at school when the girls pinned Eva against a wall to see her birthmark. Trudi was
tormented by the children in school for being a dwarf, and when the four boys from her
class found her spying on them, they took her into a barn, and each proceeded to touch
Trudi as she tried to scream for help. George was one of the boys, but could not bring
himself to torment Trudi like the others did.

Trudi’s next friend was Ingrid, a very pious girl. She and Trudi got along great,
except Trudi was jealous of Ingrid because she was tall, pretty, and had a good body.
Ingrid hated her body and how she looked which made Trudi very mad. Trudi and Ingrid went
dancing one night with Klaus Malter, who liked Ingrid. Ingrid refused to like any man
because she wanted to join a convent. Klaus asked Ingrid to dance, but she refused, so he
asked Trudi. While the two were dancing, she and Klaus kissed. That was her first kiss,
the first time a man ever showed affection for her. She began to love Klaus, but from
there on, the two hardly spoke, and Trudi became very angry when Klaus got engaged to
another woman.

Trudi had a thing for knowing everyone’s secrets, then telling them to people in
return for their secrets. She became the town gossip, and people tried to avoid her
because even if they did not want to tell her their secrets, she’d get them out of
the people anyway. Trudi hurt people a lot by telling their secrets to others. She
enjoyed hurting others because so many hurt her by treating her different because she was
a dwarf. Trudi also liked to read the newspaper in the section that wanted responses for
mates to the description it gave. Trudi responded to two of the descriptions, and told
the men to meet her at a restaurant. She wrote to each of the men, giving a false
description of her, and told them to wear a brown handkerchief in his pocket, and to carry
two white carnations. She went to the restaurant and watched to two men suffer through
trying to find the women that responded to his letter. Trudi did this a second time, with
no intention of going to the restaurant, but she did. She saw the man she responded to,
who did not look at her when he was searching for the woman who responded to his letter.
This angered Trudi, so she went up to the man and gave him a letter, which was from
“some girl who asked her to give it to him.” The letter was mean; saying the
woman had no interest in the man. The man seemed upset at first then began to talk to
Trudi, asking if he could buy her a drink, and drive her home. Reluctantly she said yes.
The man was Max Rudnick, and kept asking Trudi to go to dinner with her. After many
months, she agreed, and the two began to see each other. They shared many nights
together, and talked about their future. He was the first man to love Trudi. As their
relationship was going on, so was WW II. Mr. Abramowitz died, and Mrs. Abramowitz was
taken away. Leo had some of their belongings that Mr.Abramowitz wanted him to hide, so he
took them out, and was going to go search for their daughter, Ruth, to give them to her.
Trudi and Max said they would do it, but on the day they planned to Leo got sick. Trudi
told Max to go without her, because she wanted to stay with her father. Max went and
never returned. The town he was visiting was bombed, and everything was destroyed,
including people. Trudi fantasized about him returning, but he never did.

World War II was happening, and many of the Montag’s friends were taken away because
they were Jewish. People began to join the army, and turn in their family and friends
that were Jewish, or spoke badly of Germany or Hitler. The Jew’s houses were
shattered, and they were told to move out of Germany. Many were not given an option, and
were taken to KZ’s, concentration camps. Friends and families were split up, and
many people died. The Montag’s and many other people tried to help the Jew’s
by hiding them in their houses. They built tunnels to their neighbors, the Blau’s
house, who also wanted to help. Emil Hesping, Leo’s friend, brought the Jew’s
to and from hideouts. Emil was killed when he tried to steal the Hitler statue in the
middle of the town. It was then that people realized that he was the unknown benefactor.
The unknown benefactor left presents for people inside their houses when something bad
happened to them, or they couldn’t afford to buy things for themselves. People felt
a great lose of Emil, who was so kind The Abramowitz’s, the Montag’s neighbors
and friends, were taken away, and died.

The story ended with the want for normalcy in Germany. Trudi began to love herself, and
put the fact that she was a dwarf behind her. She became friends with Eva after a few
months, but then Eva was taken away, and she and Trudi never spoke again. George returned
from the war, became an alcoholic, and later killed himself. Ingrid was married and had
two children, which she tried to kill, so they would go to heaven. Trudi was sad about
the death of her father, and ended the story with her, her dad, and George at the mill
they visited while they were young. There Trudi saw herself talking to George, telling
him a story as she did when they were young; enhancing it, and embracing it.
























2.Central Characters

 Trudi Montag- was the main character, and narrator of the novel. We saw the life
of German citizens through her eyes. The theme of the book is that being different is a
secret everybody shares, that no one is perfect, and that you should be proud of who you
are, and stand up for what you believe in. Trudi contributes to this theme throughout the
book when she begins to lover herself and her body, and when she helps stand up for the
Jews by hiding them in her house.

 Leo Montag-was Trudi’s father, and owner of the pay library. Leo’s
contribution to the theme of the novel was that he walked with a limp, but treated
everybody equally, no matter what he or she looked like or what their background was. He
also defended the Jews, and hid them in his house.

 Emil Hesping-was the unknown benefactor, who died trying to get rid of the Hitler
statue. He contributes to the theme of the novel by loving unconditionally. Although
people did not have a lot of respect for him because he had many affairs, he put that all
Continues for 7 more pages >>




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