Family Relationship

Michael Berg, The Reader by B. Schlink

The relationships in the Berg family are divided. Michael has a very good connection to his mother, who cares about him lovingly and educates him: “My mother had pushed a chair up close to the stove for me to stand on while she washed and dressed me. I remember the wonderful feeling of warmth, and how good it felt to be washed and dressed in this warmth.”

His connection to the father is much worse, but it’s not Michael’s fault.

His father treats him like one of his subordinated students and his own son must make appointments with him if he would like to see his father. In the course of the novel, the good relationship with the whole family takes off as Michael is emancipated. We cannot say much about his relationship with the siblings, because they are mentioned only at the edge of the plot.

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