Between Shades of Gray- Literary Term Analysis

Between Shades of Gray- Literary Term Analysis

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  • Protagonist- Lina Vilkas
  •  Antagonist- NKVD, Komorov
  • Theme
  • Lina Vilkas is a 15 year old Lithuanian girl who is taken by the Soviet Union NKVD. She is round because we see many sides of her personality like her determination and her bravery. Lina is dynamic because she changes from being scared and hopeless in the beginning to brave and tenacious in the end. 
  • Imagery: "Her yellow hair fell in shiny waves against the side of her face, and her emerald earrings sparkled under the lights" (34).
  •  Komorov is the commander of the work camp that Lina and the others on her train car are sent to.  He is round because besides his cruel attitude towards the prisoners we see that he is self-centered. Komorov is static because he does not undergo any change throughout the book.
  • Foreshadowing: "Jonas returned with Mother's Bible... 'Psalm 102' 'I have it,' said Jonas... My brother was a rendering from Psalm 102 'weak and withering like grass'"(189-193)
  • Love is always the right way even in times of suffering, hopelessness, and brutality. When Lina, her mother, and her younger brother Jonas are taken by the Soviet Union it seems almost impossible for them to keep their hope and keep living, unless they learn to live for their love of one another. 
  • Figurative language: Simile: "The metal lamp swayed above like a pendulum, illuminating hollow faces, throwing shadows throughout the carriage" (255)
  • This description applies to the reader's sense of sight as it describes what Lina's mom is wearing one night. It shows the readers how their family lived before they were captured. Along with imagery, Sepetys uses figurative language as she portrays Mrs. Vilkas's hair as waves. 
  •  In a letter that one of the prisoners receives it mentions Psalm 102 , which Jonas voluntarily reads out loud for everyone. It talks about how a human slowly withers away when it dies. This is foreshadowing because Jonas soon falls very ill and he becomes withered and almost nothing. 
  • When Lina and the others are sent to another place, the travel in a musty train car with only one light. The light hung in the middle of the ceiling and swung back and forth, steadily and constantly.  The light illuminated  all the dirty, thin, and scarred faces that were once happy, healthy, and full faces.  
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