Theme Of Survival In Milkweed

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The book “Milkweed” by Jerry Spinelli tells a story about a boy who survived the horrible days of World War 2. He struggles every single day to find his identity and what is happening in the world. The book “Milkweed” itself shows many signs of survival. Both literally, and figuratively. This novel describes what the Jews did to survive and how they survived. The theme of survival is represented by different objects. The author, Spinelli, uses many literary elements to describe and support the theme of survival. The main three are: setting (where and what time), symbols such as the plant Milkweed that represents a new hope, and conflicts (what is the fight/fighting in the story). As stated, the author uses the literary element of setting to develop the theme of survival. Through the novel, Milkweed, Spinelli shows that Warsaw is dark, gray and scary. All the characters in the book describe Warsaw as a depressed place. They say that it is not how it used to be and that now it is like hell. The Nazis changed the Warsaw they used to know, where not everyone was hated. The setting is also described where people are tortured every single day of their life. It is inhumane where people steal from the dead and tie their shoes on the dead. It is a place of misery and suffering. It is hell but worse for the poor Jews. The characters also refer to it as a two-faced town because the town can be happy and good, and sometimes it can be bad and horrible. Good would only be when you are with your family, without a family or friends, there is no happiness. The bad face is outside of your house, the torture, the death, and the loss of hope. The more the hope you have, the more chance of survival. You have motivation when you have hope. If yo... ... middle of paper ... ...ly being everywhere in Warsaw. As stated this affects his survival skills because he keeps getting distracted over the fact that his family is gone. But it might actually increase his chance of survival because he does not have to worry about anything happening to Janina or his family anymore. He only has to worry about keeping himself alive. All these conflicts show signs of survival. The novel Milkweed portrays the struggle of the children during the holocaust and how different survival skills helped them overcome unpleasant situations such as hunger, death and evil. For example, Uri teaches Misha that one important survival skill is to remain invisible. Spinelli uses different literary elements such as the setting of the novel, the symbolism and conflict in the novel and within the characters to help us understand an important historical event, the holocaust.

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