Annemarie said that she was glad to be an ordinary person who will never be called upon to act courageously. Why did she say that?

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charsteph88 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the book "Number The Stars," Annemarie Johansen is a ten year old girl living in Denmark during World War II. At such a young age, she has already been called upon to make sacrifices, both for herself and for her Jewish friends. She learns tough lessons, such as how to ration food and go without, and that sometimes people lie to you in order to help you find your courage.

In the book, her uncle admits that the family lied to Annemarie in order to help her be brave, and she learns to forgive them after she realizes that bravery isn't something that you already have inside of you, it occurs when you do something that's hard even though you're afraid. Before she learns that lesson, she tries desperately to hold onto her youth by telling herself that she is an ordinary person who doesn't have to be brave; she believes that Peter and Uncle Henrik have inherent courage, that they must not be afraid as she is, and that that is what allows them to act courageously.

She says that she is glad she is just an ordinary person, because she doesn't realize that she too will be called upon to make tough decisions, that she is not exempt from having to be brave, even though she was afraid. Essentially, she was in denial about the realities of what was going on in her country. Even though there were soldiers everywhere, she still believed that monsters and heroes only existed in fairy tales.