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Critical Analysis Of Eleanor Ayer's Parallel Journeys

Analysis of Eleanor Ayer’s Parallel Journeys During the Holocaust six million Jews lost their lives, while others lost their friends, family and dignity. Helen Waterford discusses her survival in the novel Parallel Journeys . Through Helen Waterford’s journey to hide, survive, and rejoin society, she realizes that she cannot dwell on what has happened to her but learn and become wise from what she has endured.
In Helen’s lifetime, all she had ever known was that being Jewish was considered the worst thing a person could have been associated with . Helen met a man named Siegfried Wohlfarth, whom she married shortly after despite the uprising struggles of Jews. With logical reasoning, the newlyweds planned to flee the country of Germany for
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With the amount of anti-Semitic activity in Germany, no Jew was safe and Helen realized this quickly. In order to protect her child he had to give her to family to keep her safe. “There we said goodbye as casually as possible and gave these strangers our child.” After this moment, Helen’s fight for survival to see her child once again. Finding a place to hide became very difficult as no one wanted to host a Jewish family due to the fear of the Nazis finding out. “People were understandably nervous and frightened, so the only solution was to find another hiding place.”
After being caught the feeling of defeat struck Helen as she did not know what would happen to her from this point on. Waterford’s husband slowly lost himself on the journey to the camp, “In his way, Siegfried was giving up hope before his time. During the next few nine months, I would see a similar loss of hope among many of my companions.” Helen soon learned that yesterday was the past and life can only be viewed by the hope of a better
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“Picking up the pieces of their shattered lives was very, very difficult, but most survivors found a way to begin again.” Once again, Helen was faced with the struggle of living life day-to-day, trying not to continue feeling the pain of her past.
When in America, Helen found that it was hard not to talk about past and the stories of her imprisonment. “Some survivors found it impossible to talk about their pasts. By staying silent, they hoped to bury the horrible nightmares of the last few years. They wanted to spare their children and those who knew little about the holocaust from listening to their terrible stories.” In the efforts to save people from having to hear about the gruesome past, the survivors also lacked the resources to mentally recovery from the tragedy.
People like Helen’s mother grew tired of the stories she’d try to tell to have her mother understand what happened. Her mother once said “I cannot understand why you always come back with those old stories. Forget those ties and what has happened. Nobody wants to hear or talk about this anymore.” In a way, I feel that Helen’s mother did not mean to sound as brutal as she did to Helen, but rather tried to tell Helen that life has to continue on and she cannot dwell on the pain of the

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