The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen Essay

The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen Essay

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The Devil’s Arithmetic
Independent Reading Response Questions, Chapters 6-9:
1) Hannah reveals that her best friend is Rosemary, a Catholic girl, and states, “As if that matters (p. 46).” As Chaya, her new friends are in shock upon hearing this. Ester states, “My father will not even let me talk to a goy (p. 47).” Why will Ester’s father not allow this? Why is Hannah not bothered by it? Use text evidence to support your response.

Answer: Esther states, “My father will not even let me talk to a goy.” Her father does not want Esther to be friend with a goy, because he thinks that the goy will influence Esther, negatively. He also thinks that Esther will stop worshipping her religion, since her friend’s religion will change Esther’s point of view of her religion. To continue, her father also thinks that Esther will become a Christian, since she is influenced by her friends. He does not want her to stop worshipping her religion. On the other hand, Hannah states, “As a matter of fact, she’s Catholic,” Hannah said. “As if that matters.” In modern times, Hannah can befriend anyone from any religion. Her parents do not think that she will be religiously influenced by her friends. In fact, she will learn from her friends’ cultures. Nowadays, we find that religion can be an interesting topic, therefore, Hannah finds it normal to have friend with different religions. Finally, I can relate to this, because Hannah and I have many friends that are Catholic or Christian. This of course, is very normal in our time period.

2) Hannah tells stories of her “other” life in which she attends school and looks forward to the weekends. As Chaya, her new friends are again shocked by the fact that she-a girl-attends school. Hannah explains that he...


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...htened about being killed, but at least she has known, and this makes her prepared. However, when you do not know that you will be killed, it is much more horrifying. You do not know what will occur, therefore, when you are going to be killed, you will not be prepared for the consequences. Your death will be a surprising attack. I am really thankful that I am not in the Holocaust, therefore, I will not have to face what Hannah is facing. However, if I was in Hannah’s place, at least, I have my knowledge to give me a less surprising and painful death. Lastly, I remember a time where I did not study for a test. At that moment, I already knew that I would not receive a satisfying grade. I was prepared for the divesting moment. Similar to my situation, Hannah knows about the Holocaust, and knows what she will suffer. Therefore, we are both ready for the consequences.



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