Birdsong

by

Sebastian Faulks

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Lieutenant Levi Character Analysis

A German soldier and children’s doctor from Hamburg. Levi’s brother is killed in the explosion set off by Stephen Wraysford when he is stuck in the collapsed tunnel with Jack Firebrace, and Levi personally rescues Stephen. Levi is a good man who feels obliged to defend his country, and he is deeply religious and guided by his faith. When he finally frees Stephen from the trenches, instead of treating him like his enemy, he embraces him like a brother.

Lieutenant Levi Quotes in Birdsong

The Birdsong quotes below are all either spoken by Lieutenant Levi or refer to Lieutenant Levi. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
History and the Future Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Birdsong published in 1993.
Part Six: France 1918 Quotes

Levi looked at this wild-eyed figure, half-demented, his brother’s killer. For no reason he could tell, he found that he had opened his own arms in turn, and the two men fell upon each other’s shoulders, weeping at the bitter strangeness of their human lives.

Related Characters: Stephen Wraysford, Lieutenant Levi
Page Number: 463
Explanation and Analysis:
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Birdsong PDF

Lieutenant Levi Character Timeline in Birdsong

The timeline below shows where the character Lieutenant Levi appears in Birdsong. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Six: France 1918
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
In a German dugout, Lieutenant Levi feels the blast. Another officer approaches him and orders him down into the hole to... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
As they walk along the underground tunnel, Levi and the men come across substantial blockage. Levi suspects that his own brother was in... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
The Germans’ controlled explosion blows a hole large enough for them to go through, and Levi and the others move on. They come upon a second hole and one of the... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
Out of the hole, he hands the watch to Levi, who recognizes it as his brother’s—a present from their father on his bar mitzvah. “Silly... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
The Germans stop to eat. Levi’s religion will not allow him to eat the food, so instead he prays. After eating,... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
After four hours of digging, the Germans make little progress. Suddenly, Levi hears a tapping sound. “There’s definitely somebody trapped back there,” he says. They get ready... (full context)
Love and Hate Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
Levi orders the men to keep going and they finally break through. Stephen’s tapping echoes, and... (full context)
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
...tunnel together into the German trench to the sounds of birds. In English, Stephen asks Levi if it is over. Levi answers in English: “It is finished.” He looks around the... (full context)
History and the Future Theme Icon
Nature, War, and Morality Theme Icon
The men bring up the bodies of Jack and Levi’s brother, and bury them in a shared grave. That night, they eat out in the... (full context)