The Aftermath
Rhidian Brook

by

Sharon Fleming

Motifs
Motifs are devices or structures that are used by artists or authors to help in the development of a theme.
Death

Death recurs throughout the novel and serves as a reminder of the effects of war and the consequences of the Nazi regime. Lewis and Racheal’s son, Michael, is killed by a stray bomb, thereby causing great pain the parents. Accordingly, Lewis indicates, “black crosses marked the places where bodies lay waiting to be buried” (Brook 16). The presence of dead bodies lying everywhere represents the effects of war, such as the loss of loved ones. The recurrence of death, particularly, Albert’s death, represent the end of the die-hard Nazi regime ‘88’ movement supporters and a new beginning of hope and reconstruction in Hamburg.

Enmity

The motif of enmity recurs throughout the novel, serving as a reminder of the hatred existing between the Germans and British. This is evidenced through Racheal’s strict warning to Edmund. She says "You are about to meet strange people in a strange enemy country. You must keep clear of Germans. You must not walk with them, or shake hands or visit their homes. You must not play games with them or share any social event. Don't try to be kind" (Brook 26). It is apparent that the British blame Germans for triggering the war and, thus, consider them their mortal enemies. In addition, enmity recurs throughout the novel, for instance, the Germans are to undertake a long questionnaire to proof their detachment with the previous Nazi regime. It is obvious that the Intelligence Officials, such as Major Burnham considers the Germans as criminals. This culminates to him viewing the Germans with contempt and hatred.

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