Refugee Signposts - Words of the Wiser and Again and Again

Refugee Signposts - Words of the Wiser and Again and Again

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  • Words of the Wiser
  • You don't understand.
  • Words of the Wiser
  • Be free.
  • Words of the Wiser
  • You can either live your life as a ghost, waiting for death, or you can dance.
  • This message is important because this is the point in the story where Josef's father is starting to retell the tale of what happened at the concentration camps. This could mark a turning point in Josef because he might understand later in the novel, about what the real world is like.
  • Contrast and Contradictions
  • These two words are enough to shake the reader. When Papa says, "Be free," it makes the reader think about how good they have it. Papa doesn't want a million dollars (although that would be nice), he just wants to be free. 
  • Contrast and Contradictions
  • This is an important message because Josef's mother is telling Josef he can be lifeless and dead inside, or he can be free and "dance." This is a reminder that  Josef shouldn't be mourning, but celebrating. 
  • Contrast and Contradictions
  • We're walking to Austria.
  • Mahmoud might act this way because he is being thoughtful - he would rather give up his sister and die than die with his sister. I think this shows determination and a sense of caring in Mahmoud.
  • Her name is Hana.
  • Josef's dad is at his breaking point at last. He would rather die without his family than live with his family. This shows a kind of psychotic selfishness in Josef's father. I wonder how Josef's family will cope with the loss.
  • Let me die!
  • Mahmoud is done with being invisible. He wants to be seen. He wants to be noticed. He walks out of the prison and starts walking to Syria. I think this shows a lot of courage in the character. I wonder if his courage will help later in the book.
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