Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

The Policeman Character Analysis

The policeman from Sarah’s neighborhood in Paris. She recognizes him as she is being deported on a bus from Paris, but when she waves he refuses to meet her eyes. Later, he shaves Sarah’s head. When Sarah and Rachel attempt to escape from the internment camp where they are being held, this policeman catches them, but ultimately allows them to escape, telling them both to remove their stars.

The Policeman Quotes in Sarah’s Key

The Sarah’s Key quotes below are all either spoken by The Policeman or refer to The Policeman . 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:
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the St. Martin’s Press edition of Sarah’s Key published in 2008.
Chapter 9 Quotes

Through the bus’s dusty pane, she recognized one of them, the young red-haired one who had often helped her cross the street on her way home from school. She tapped on the glass to attract his attention. When his eyes locked onto hers, he quickly looked away. He seemed embarrassed, almost annoyed. She wondered why.

Related Characters: Sarah “Sirka” Starzynski (speaker), The Policeman
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 23 Quotes

She held his gaze, not glancing down once. His eyes were a strange, yellowish color, like gold. His face was red with embarrassment, and she thought she felt him tremble. She said nothing, staring at him with all the contempt she could muster.
He could only look back at her, motionless. The girl smiled, a bitter smile for a child of ten, and brushed off his heavy hands.

Related Characters: Sarah “Sirka” Starzynski (speaker), The Policeman
Related Symbols: Hands
Page Number: 81-82
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Policeman Character Timeline in Sarah’s Key

The timeline below shows where the character The Policeman appears in Sarah’s Key. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Identity Theme Icon
...onto the green-and-white city buses. Through the window of the bus, Sarah recognizes her neighborhood policeman, but when she waves to him he refuses to meet her eyes. The buses transport... (full context)
Chapter 23
Guilt Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
...When she looks up she realizes the man shaving her head is her former neighborhood policeman, the one she recognized through the bus window on the night of the roundup. This... (full context)
Chapter 25
Bravery Theme Icon
...they plan to crawl under. They are caught crawling under the fence by Sarah’s neighborhood policeman. Rachel begins to sob but Sarah realizes she is not afraid of the policeman. Instead,... (full context)
Chapter 27
Guilt Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
When they finally stop to rest, Rachel and Sarah remember the policeman’s parting words: “Take off your stars.” They both do so and Rachel buries the yellow... (full context)
Chapter 31
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...the room and asks what has happened to the key and the money from the policeman, both of which were in her pocket. Geneviève points to a shelf where she has... (full context)