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Written by Callie Labrador
Setting and Context
Poland, 1939-46 World War Two under Nazi Occupation
Narrator and Point of View
Third person narrator telling story chiefly from the point of view of the Balicki family
Tone and Mood
Threatening, dangerous yet also hopeful and optimistic of better things to come
Protagonist and Antagonist
Balicki family are the protagonists, the occupying Germans the antagonist
World War Two, the Poles being taken by the Nazis
Ruth waking to find not only her father, but her mother, sitting at her bedside
The storm clouds gathering as the children explore the lake, suggesting that they are soon to be cut off from the mainland
Joseph notices the Warsaw people are hungry which is a terrific understatement; food is scarce and they are literally starving
Ruth alludes to the story of Daniel and the Lions to describe the family's situation
Throughout the novel the bleakness is described both visually, with the bleakness of the landscape and also the bleakness of the situation occupation by the Germans has put the Poles in, bleakness at the prison camp and again in the city where the children are living a terrible existence in bombed out houses
The people of Warsaw are living in deplorable, sub-human conditions yet their pride and defiance allows them to decorate the cellars and tunnels they live in as if they were their homes
There is a parallel between Jan and the lost son of Herr and Frau Wolff as both dearly loved Ludwig the dog and in turn were adored by him
Metonymy and Synecdoche
The camp wanted Edek to stay until he was healthier, using the word "camp" to represent the superintendent of the transit camp and his co-workers
Jan states that the sword would not have allowed him to stay with Herr and Frau Wolff, attributing intention and authority to an object
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