progress report 3

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  • The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
  • Theme
  • representation/ analysis of theme
  • Progress report #3: Theme by Madison Korol
  • representation/ analysis of theme
  • A theme in this book is the importance of history.  Throughout the book, Hannah goes from having no interest in remembering her family's history, to finally understanding why they must remember it. Being transported back in time to the Holocaust allowed Hannah to experience the history first hand, and she develops a whole knew understanding and perspective on it. 
  • representation/ analysis of theme
  • "chosen for processing."
  • "You mean chosen for death."
  • ' "This is my authority," Rivka said sternly, holding up her arm so that the number showed. J18202. '(113) This quote shows how the numbers that each person was given in the concentration camps has a story. After saying this, Rivka continues to explain how each number means something to her, and it helps her to remember it. This comes back later in the book to help form the theme of the importance of history because Hannah realizes why the numbers mean so much to her family and why they must remember them; to preserve the memory of what happened because it is too painful to forget. 
  • solution of theme
  • "In the morning, after roll call and breakfast were over, they got their first lesson at the midden."(122) This quote shows what the children in these concentration camps had to do to hide from the commandant in order to survive. They had to hide in the trash pile every time he visited. This shows the brutality of the Holocaust, and why these people must remember what happened so that no one ever forgets. 
  • ' "Chosen for processing." "You mean chosen for death," Hannah said.' (128)  This quote is the conversation when Hannah finds out what happens when you do anything wrong in the concentration camps; you are chosen for 'processing.' This is a fancy way of saying you die. This shows, yet again, the brutality of this time in history, and how important it is to remember this because it simply cannot be forgotten. 
  • The solution of the theme is the importance of history to Hannah. She goes from having no interest in her family's history, to seeing why it is so important to remember. Being transported through time allows her to witness the history for herself, and see why her family urges her to learn about it. They want her to see how terrible the Holocaust was, and to pass the memories on to her because they must remember that part of history; it is too important to forget. We, as readers, see this theme unfold because in the beginning, Hannah does not think her history matters. We see as she develops a whole new perspective on her family's history as she experiences it first hand. 
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