Why were the Tivoli Gardens important to the Danes of Copenhagen in Number the Stars by Lois Lowry?

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reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, Tivoli Gardens represents a time of peace and happiness to Annemarie and Ellen. The Gardens are a place where the girls could eat ice cream, ride on the carousel, and see fireworks. However, now, during the Nazi occupation: "Tivoli Gardens was closed...The German occupation forces had burned part of it..."(Chapter 4). The Gardens represent the identity of the people where families could gather and enjoy life.

Interestingly enough, Tivoli Gardens also represents the past, a way of life and a sense of identity that will never be the same after the war. The girls are playing with paper dolls and pretending they are characters from the novel, Gone With the Wind. They pretend the dolls are Melanie, Scarlett, and Bonnie, and instead of going to a ball, they go to Tivoli Gardens. Of course, in the novel, the South becomes gone with the wind, a way of life that is lost forever after the Civil War. In this manner, Lowry illustrates how the lives of the girls will be forever changed after the war just the same as the characters in Gone With the Wind.

mrshh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Tivoli Gardens were a place of enjoyment for the citizens of Copenhagen before the Nazi occupation. The Danes enjoyed the fun they had there. In Number the Stars, Annemarie recalls her happy memories of the Tivoli Gardens. One day, Ellen and Annemarie play Gone With the Wind with their paper dolls, and they decide the setting should be the Tivoli Gardens. During this playtime, Annemarie remembers what the gardens had been like.

Annemarie recalls "music and the brightly colored lights, the carousel and ice cream and especially the magnificent fireworks in the evenings" (Chapter 4). She was quite young when her parents used to take her to the Tivoli Gardens. By the time the novel begins, the Tivoli Gardens are already closed. When the Nazis occupied Copenhagen, they burned down part of the Tivoli Gardens. Annemarie does not know what their exact intentions are, but she assumes the Nazis set fire to the Tivoli Gardens as "a way of punishing the fun-loving Danes for their lighthearted pleasures."