The Aftermath
Rhidian Brook

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 6
Summary

Racheal has never been a fan of shopping. On their way to the British Families Shop commonly referred as NAAFI, both Racheal and Susan Burnham discuss various thing ranging from how British women should beautify themselves to protect their husbands from getting in an intimate relationship with the German women. Although Racheal has not had a good sexual relationship with Lewis, she considers bedroom matters to be private (Brook 114).  In the street, Racheal and Susan Burnham can see German women standing wearing placards around their necks. For a moment, seeing the devastated women reminds Racheal about Michael’s death. Brook indicates that the glass front of NAAFI was always blacked with the focus of concealing the basic supplies from the Germans. However, once inside, both Racheal and Susan realize the shop is almost empty. This makes them conclude that the real intention of concealing the shop is to inhibit Germans from thinking that the occupiers [Britain] can hardly support its people (Brook 117).

In another scene, Edmund is having his lesson with his tutor Herr Koenig. Heike offers Koenig a glass of milk and a cake, which Koenig eats gluttonously (Brook 121). Edmund inquires more about Germany and its former leader, whom Edmund thinks must have been jealous of the British Empire. Koenig refrains from discussing the issue further with Edmund stating that they are “not permitted to talk about these things” (Brook 123). After Koenig leaves, Edmund goes upstairs to his parents’ room to search for cigarettes. He is surprised that his father does not have a picture of him and wonders whether he [Edmund] would have to die a dramatic death for his father to put his picture in his cigarette case just like he had put Michael’s (Brook 126). Susan’s voice downstairs startles Edmund making him leave the room abruptly.

Racheal and Susan arrive at the house. The two ladies are planning how the guests will be arranged and the activities that will follow. The missing painting on the wall makes Susan assume that like other Germans, Lubert had also placed Hitler’s portrait on the dark space (Brook 130). Susan insists that Lubert must have been a follower of the Nazi party, an assumption that Racheal strongly refutes.  

Analysis

The discussion in this chapter seems to be suggesting that all Germans were followers of the Nazi party. British intelligence formulates a questionnaire with the focus of assessing and determining who should be cleared from any suspicion and who should be jailed. The author continues to provide the aftermath of war such as missing loved ones as well as rationing of basic commodities. The Germans are blamed for starting the war and this puts a gap between the British and them, including the availability of fundamental necessities. The author wants to emphasize in this chapter that Germans are struggling to even get something to eat as evidenced by Koenig's gluttony when offered a glass of milk and a cake. Additionally, the aftermath of war culminated in educated and formally elite professionals, such as Koenig losing their jobs and thereby diminishing their looks and appearance.  

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