My Family and Other Animals

My Family and Other Animals

Kralefsky Character Analysis

Kralefsky is Gerry's final tutor on Corfu. Gerry initially thinks that Kralefsky is more gnome than human, as he's bald and has a hunchback. Though he is an exacting tutor in all subjects, he also recognizes that he has more luck teaching Gerry when the subject matter appeals to his interests. To this end, Gerry learns French by reading a French bird guide. Kralefsky is an aviculturist (one who keeps and breeds birds), and the entire top floor of his mansion is lined with cages containing all manner of birds. He has a deep love of storytelling, though a number of his stories are presumably not true: Gerry discovers that he can surreptitiously plant an idea one day and the next day, Kralefsky has a story prepared involving "a Lady" and whatever situation Gerry might have suggested. However, Gerry doesn't always recognize that Kralefsky's stories are entirely fantasy: he takes Kralefsky at his word when Kralefsky regales him with a tale about wrestling a famous wrestler in Paris and begs for a wrestling lesson, during which he ends up seriously hurting Kralefsky.

Kralefsky Quotes in My Family and Other Animals

The My Family and Other Animals quotes below are all either spoken by Kralefsky or refer to Kralefsky. 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:
The Natural World Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of My Family and Other Animals published in 1956.
Part 3, Chapter 14 Quotes

I was not, however, the least impressed by this last bit of information; I had met a number of people who professed to be interested in birds, and who had turned out (after careful questioning) to be charlatans who did not know what a hoopoe looked like...

Related Characters: Gerry Durrell (speaker), Mother, Kralefsky
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
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Kralefsky Character Timeline in My Family and Other Animals

The timeline below shows where the character Kralefsky appears in My Family and Other Animals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 3, Chapter 14: The Talking Flowers
The Natural World Theme Icon
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
Gerry learns that Mother found another tutor, a man named Kralefsky. She informs Gerry that Kralefsky loves birds, which doesn't impress Gerry: he's found that most... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
Kralefsky leads Gerry upstairs. Behind a locked door, Gerry sees dozens of birdcages lining the walls... (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Despite their unorthodox first "lesson," Kralefsky proves to be a stickler when it comes to tutoring. He drills Gerry on history... (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
At odd intervals during the morning, Kralefsky excuses himself to see his mother. Gerry believes that Kralefsky is far too old to... (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Kralefsky leads Gerry down a hallway and into a bedroom filled to the brim with flowers.... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Kralefsky excuses himself to go check on some eggs that are due to hatch, leaving Gerry... (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
Mrs. Kralefsky says that flowers also have personalities. She gestures at a gorgeous dark red rose in... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 15: The Cyclamen Woods
The Natural World Theme Icon
...over him any day. Gerry locks the Magenpies in his room and decides to ask Kralefsky to help him build a large cage. Gerry reasons that afterwards, Kralefsky can teach Gerry... (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Gerry soon discovers that Kralefsky loves telling stories that involve himself as a hero and a woman known as a... (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
Unfortunately for Kralefsky, Gerry also tends to believe stories that seem even faintly possible. This is the case... (full context)
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
In the drawing room, Kralefsky demonstrates how to throw one's opponent off balance by gently tossing Gerry onto a sofa.... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
As Kralefsky's eyes widen, Larry regales the room with tales of various individuals who broke their backs,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 18: An Entertainment with Animals
The Natural World Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
...sit calmly so they don't get bitten, but this only makes everyone get up, terrified. Kralefsky offers to help Gerry capture Alecko and seems relieved when Gerry turns down his offer.... (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
At lunch, Kralefsky tells a story about a friend who was attacked by a gull, and Theodore makes... (full context)
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
...Widdle racing out of the kitchen, and they throw themselves on Dodo's suitors. Theodore and Kralefsky offer suggestions as to how to break up the roiling dogfight, and Spiro finally steps... (full context)
Part 3: The Return
Childhood, Adulthood, and Education Theme Icon
Soon after, Kralefsky informs Mother that he can't teach Gerry anything else, so Gerry will need to continue... (full context)
The Natural World Theme Icon
Absurdity and Storytelling Theme Icon
Friendship and the Care of Animals Theme Icon
Kralefsky, Theodore, and Spiro bid the family goodbye, and Spiro bursts into heaving sobs. Finally, the... (full context)