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Written by Anastasia Melnyk
Floating angel (Metaphor)
It is difficult to completely comprehend all the awfulness of being kept in a concentration camp, all the emotions and feelings. When it comes to understanding that one’s life is about to end, and this life becomes just a waiting for this end, it would not be a surprise a person would lose one’s apprehension of where he is and what he is. This is what happens with Rosa, “she felt light, not like someone walking but like someone in a faint, in trance, arrested in a fit, someone who is already a floating angel, alert and seeing everything, but in the air, not there, not touching the road”. She already become kind of dead among alive. Such a life is impossible to endure.
Hardships of walking (Metaphor)
We do not know for sure where they are going, but it is clear that they are walking in a line, and if anyone moved out of this line might be shot. All the difficulty of this walk is described in one single line: “On the road they raised one burden of a leg after another”. Every step is made with great force, but there is no will in it, no hope. Cold, starving, maybe even barefooted these people were forced to walk from one hell to another knowing that there is only death in the end.
Loss of humanity (Simile)
Under such living conditions people tend to change, they even might lose their feelings of pity and sympathy. Stella is one of these. It is become clear when once she “gazed at Magda like a young cannibal”. Such a comparison makes one shiver. Difficult to imagine what is going on in one’s soul when such ideas as eating a baby enter one’s mind.
Stella’s loss of compassion is proved one more time when she took away Magda’s shawl. A reason for that was that she was cold, and “afterwards she was always cold, always. The cold went into her heart”. Stella has crossed the line between thinking and actually acting, she has yielded to the thought that must have been sent to her by the very devil.
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