Michael’s role as “The Reader”
Michael is not aware of the importance of his role as a narrator in the beginning. He is very surprised by Hanna’s request to read to her, so he has a hidden resistance against it at first. For Hanna, his steady reading is the only way to know the contents of books. She is fascinated by the books and she cannot get enough; she asks Michael to read aloud to her very often. As a reader of the novel, The Reader, you realize how much Hanna identifies with the characters in the books.
Michael’s role as a narrator moves more and more to the background in the second part. At the beginning of the third part of the novel, Michael realizes the “true meaning” of his role as a narrator, and his “predecessor”, namely the people in the concentration camp who had to read to Hanna, too.