The Reader

The Reader

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The warden of Hanna’s prison seems to care sincerely for the welfare of Hanna and the other prisoners. She writes to Michael to inform him of Hanna’s release and ask for his help, and after Hanna dies, she tells him about Hanna’s life in prison. Described by Michael as “a small, thin woman,” she “seemed insignificant until she began to speak, with force and warmth and a severe gaze and energetic use of both hands and arms.”
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The Prison Warden Character Timeline in The Reader

The timeline below shows where the character The Prison Warden appears in The Reader. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3, Chapter 7
Secrets, Indifference, and Emotional Distance Theme Icon
Generational and Parent-Child Conflict Theme Icon
Reading and Illiteracy Theme Icon
...removed” relationship with Hanna, and is surprised when he receives a letter from the prison warden informing him that Hanna will most likely be released in the next year. The warden’s... (full context)
Guilt, Responsibility, and the Holocaust Theme Icon
Secrets, Indifference, and Emotional Distance Theme Icon
The warden seems to sincerely care about helping Hanna, and Michael, who has heard of the “extraordinary”... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 10
Generational and Parent-Child Conflict Theme Icon
The next morning, Hanna commits suicide. When Michael arrives at the prison, the warden questions him, asking if he had noticed any warning signs during their phone call, how... (full context)
Guilt, Responsibility, and the Holocaust Theme Icon
Secrets, Indifference, and Emotional Distance Theme Icon
Reading and Illiteracy Theme Icon
The warden then shows Michael Hanna’s cell. Its shelves are filled with tea tins, his tapes, and... (full context)
Guilt, Responsibility, and the Holocaust Theme Icon
Secrets, Indifference, and Emotional Distance Theme Icon
Reading and Illiteracy Theme Icon
The warden tells him that Hanna taught herself to read with Michael’s tapes by comparing the sound... (full context)
Secrets, Indifference, and Emotional Distance Theme Icon
Reading and Illiteracy Theme Icon
Michael asks the warden what Hanna was like during her time in prison. The warden compares Hanna’s life to... (full context)
Guilt, Responsibility, and the Holocaust Theme Icon
Secrets, Indifference, and Emotional Distance Theme Icon
Generational and Parent-Child Conflict Theme Icon
The Image as Memory and the Gaze Theme Icon
Michael asks to see Hanna’s body, and the warden grants the request. She tells him that Hanna’s suicide note didn’t mention any reasons for... (full context)