Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 180

In Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal, Milos Hrma is an adult who fails to epitomize the effects of war due to his lack of confidence and low self-esteem. The author does not directly focus on the Second World War and instead looks at its effects on the lives of people. The story is told through the perspective of the protagonist. Therefore, it focuses on the transition from childhood to adulthood as opposed to the adverse impacts of the war. Milos Hrma holds the view that a real man must have a sexual encounter. This point of view makes him miserable, as his experiences do not live up to his expectations.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Closely Watched Trains Study Guide

Subscribe Now

The main character’s naivety is clear as he is oblivious to the consequences of the war and focuses on issues that are not as important. The things that Milos holds important have to do with him becoming a man and impressing Masha. When he is unable to impress her, he slashes his wrists. Despite giving these accounts, the narrator does not show the gruesome side of the war.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial

Critical Essays