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Word Count: 1,613
Life is a lesson built up of the experiences one encounters and the challenges they face One begins as a newborn and from the moment of reasonable understanding their life is what they make it to be In order for one to grow one must experience life as the days flow forward so not to place themselves in anothers shoes and miss an experience because of it There is a reason why people organize others in age groups so that they will grow together through the examples each one sets Expecting to grow properly and learn what one must when put in an unfamiliar generation is as if trying to teach a person to walk through the example of a whale-both are mammals but are impossible to compare This is evident in Bernhard Schlinks The Reader where fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is involved in a secretive intense and passionate relationship with thirty-six-year-old Hanna Schmitz Hanna is leading the relationship so much so that when they fight regardless of who is right or wrong Michael always gives in and apologizes in fear of loosing her He never stands up for himself As time progresses Michael takes it upon himself to be present and involve himself in Hannas trail Once Michael figures out the secret Hanna is hiding he is thrown into complete confusion on whether to help Hanna and how to execute this After the trials towards the end of the novel Michael is still unsure of how to define his relationship with Hanna The passionate secretive relationship that Hanna imposes on Michael stunts his development which leads to the confusion that dominates his life The audience is exposed in The Reader to Michaels lack of skill in defending himself against Hanna due to the intensity of the relationship shared with her and the power of age and sexual dominance she uses to her advantage You want to do it with me in the streetcar too
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