October 19, 2010
Analytical Response #1: Stones from the River
We all have flaws and insecurities that continue to linger amount us in our lives. What we sometimes tend to forget is with the discrepancies we dwell on, they may very well give us strength and become a positive feature in the long run. Throughout this novel, you see many themes of friendship, love, hate, and war. However, I believe this novel articulates an underlying theme of the struggle between encompassing the power of being different versus the agony and pain of it in societal structures such as Burgdorf. Hegi shows many instances where Trudi’s difference goes beyond her physical difference of being a Zwerg, but also noting her intellectual difference. It is because Trudi’s life has shaped her and has made her unique. Ultimately, the benefit outweighs the tragedy. Some may argue that Trudi’s physical “drawback” caused more harm than good. With her and the boys in the Braumeir’s barn, and them violating her in their perverse quest to feed their curiosity. This is one instance where people have been drawn toward Trudi’s difference (even in a negative circumstance such as this one). There was also case where Trudi’s mother Gertrud became insane and neglected to her motherly duties due to Gertrud sensing a difference in Trudi as a new born. The callous rejection Klaus left her after he pretended the kiss they shared between them didn’t exist. Even Trudi knowing that the town used her as an example of ridicule. It would be inaccurate to make the notion that Trudi’s physical difference solely made her blossom intellectually and mentally. There have been many instances in the novel where her insecurities have lingered from the beginning to the very end of the novel. Starting from childhood where Trudi would hang from door frames to make herself taller to her adult hood where her insecurities about her height seep into conversation with Max Rudnick (Hegi 389)....