The book is a war-time autobiography about Esther Hautzig's exile to
Russia during World War 1. At the beginning of the account it is set
in Poland and then transfers with the movement of the refugees she is
with to Russia. Esther Hautzig wrote the book looking back on her past
life in 1968.
The First World War affected Esther's life from 1939 when Hitler's
armies marched on Poland until when she was released from exile in
1946. In 1940 the Russians who were allies of Germany occupied Vilna
the place where Esther and her family lived. Ether and her family
embark upon their adventure when they are accused of being capitalists
and are arrested by some Russian soldiers.
Esther grows up a lot during her experiences in exile. She evolves
from a rich girl living in a well-off family and takes everything for
granted into a responsible, independent young woman. She learns to be
grateful over the smallest of things and also learns how important
family is when half of it is taken away from her.
There are various different incidents which show what Esther learns
from her exile and, show her growth into a responsible young woman.
The first incident that I have chosen shows Esther's immaturity at the
start of the story. It is the part of the story where all of the other
children at school have silk panties and Esther really wants some to
be like all the others. Her mother refuses to get her some and so they
begin a big argument. Esther decides that she won't go to school until
she gets some. Eventually she gives in when it is time for her to go
to grade school.
Here are some quotes from this incident ...
... middle of paper ...
...to recover from the loss of her husband. She fears she
will lose her son as well. This incident is testing for Esther.
Here are some quotes from this event.
"I felt an ill wind blow through the hut"
"I watched his face as he read. It had gone whiteâ€¦"
"I finally extracted the terrible truth"
"I don't want to be brave. I'm sick and tired of being brave. Tata
please don't goâ€¦"
"But we are all alone here in Siberiaâ€¦"
"Mother weptâ€¦My worst fears were confirmedâ€¦"
"I stayed in the hut, still weeping"
From this incident Esther learns that she is going to have to be
strong once more to help her family through this difficult time. Her
mother and grandmother are just as devastated as her so she has no one
to turn to for comfort. She has to be strong and manage alone."
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