Analysis of Sepetys’ ‘Between Shades of Gray’

Between Shades of Gray, the narrative is set in a period when Stalin and Hitler sign a treaty of non-aggression in 1939 and thenceforth the Baltic provinces of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are occupied by the Soviet Union. The narrative starts off in Lithuania 1941. Lina Vilkas, a 15 twelvemonth old miss, who is populating a normal life with her household. Like all the other adolescents, she is fixing for art school, a calling that she plans to hold in the hereafter, her first day of the months and is waiting to see what summer has to offer. But that one awful dark that shattered all her dreams and destroyed her happy household, when the Soviet secret constabulary ( in the fresh known as the NKVD ) flatboat into her house and forcefully dump her female parent Elena and brother Jonas in dirty trains that were used to transport cowss, along with the other listed people who were considered as anti-Soviets ( they were physicians, attorneies, instructors, military, services etc. ) .They were being deported to Siberia as “Thieves and Prostitutes” . Lina’s male parent has been separated from them along with the other work forces and has been sentenced to decease in a prison cantonment, which she comes to cognize subsequently.

Bing a talented creative person she begins to pull and compose with the hope that with the aid of it her male parent would be able to happen them but subsequently as the novel progresses she realises that there’s no manner she can acquire her male parent back, so she battles for her life and promises to honor her household and 1000s of households like her by burying her complete narrative in jars hidden from the Sovietss under Lithuania dirt.

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The novel Between Shades of Gray begins with a struggle state of affairs in the first chapter. The Soviets thrust aheading in Lina’s house and they don’t know what’s go oning they have been told to pack within 20 proceedingss. Lina is confused as to what to pack? Why do we hold to go forth? Where is her male parent? Where are they traveling? They are being forced to go forth their house. Put in trucks and are sent to the station. Dumped in the dirty trains ( with no airing except for a little hole, that’s used as a lavatory ) without any ground and are deported as ‘Thieves and prostitutes’ . During their journey the train used to hold at bare topographic points so that the Sovietss could throw dead organic structures, no 1 would see them and no 1 could run. Each compartment had to direct one individual with two pails for H2O and pail full of grey carnal provender to eat. It was Lina’s bend to acquire out of the compartment to roll up H2O and nutrient but when she gets out of the compartment, a struggle of political orientation that arises in her head that forces her to go forth her household and run off but she was forced to return back as Andrius Arvydas ( he is 17 twelvemonth male child who is in the same compartment as Lina and subsequently on falls in love with her ) takes the pail from her and goes.

When the NKVD fails to sell the people from Lina’s compartment they were behave them to Siberia where they were forced to populate in unstable conditions. And were given merely three hundred gms of bread day-to-day and were forced to make odd occupations for the NKVD.

Problems faced by adult females during the clip of struggle: In the novel you have Ona who is straight put in the truck from the infirmary bed along with her babe after her bringing. The adult females are forced to discase and to take a speedy shower they are sexually harassed. Andrius Arvydas’s female parent has to kip with the Soviet functionaries in order to salvage her boy from being killed. The status are so bad that Lina’s period have stopped for months because of no proper nutriment.

When Elena and her household are taken in the Artic, along with the others the NKVDS didn’t give them wood to construct a house. Whereas the functionaries throughout the journey, Ate and enjoyed. The Lithuanian were called hogs as though they didn’t have an individuality of their ain.

Even among all these jobs the Lithuanians celebrated Lina’s birthday and Christmas in small ways they could and prayed.

The major struggle of political orientation arises when the NKVD force the Lithuanians in Siberia to subscribe a bond where they have to be slaves for 25 old ages at the start everyone garbage but with fright of being killed and being refused to acquire their day-to-day needs some give up and subscribe whereas Lina and her household garbage to subscribe along with some others.

Fictional character of Elena is quiet similar to Paul Rusesabagina ( Hotel Rwanda ) during the clip of struggle in the train, every bit good as when the NKVDs were be aftering to sell them, she acts as a hero and attempts to salvage whoever she can. And besides portions her portion of nutrient with everyone.

The declaration that the Lithuanian brand is to travel with the flow to make and what they were asked to make in order to last. They hoped that one twenty-four hours they would be able to travel back place and their jobs would be solved.

Harmonizing to the novel the characters hoped that Hitler would assist them but among the Lithuanians there were Jews besides. Even if Hitler would make something he would capture the Jews and direct them back to concentration cantonments and kill them anyhow. Among the Lithuanians with Lina merely the Mr Stalas was a Jew but there were many others every bit good in the full cantonment. The chief motivation of the characters was to last but in the terminal those who survived in Artic and in Siberia were put in gaol. Lina loses her female parent and male parent, she is left with her Brother and Andrius who she calls her hubby. In world after completion of their sentence, when people returned to Lithuania their individualities were taken by the Sovietss every bit good as their houses and they were called liquidators.

In the fresh Lina keeps doing mentions to the happy times of struggle its memories of the yesteryear are what assist her to last. Not merely her but most of the characters try to last by believing about the past and with the hope of a hereafter but how difficult they try to last leads to their doomed struggle between the yesteryear and the present. The yesteryear is assisting them to remain alive but the present is killing them.

The cover page of the novel puts forth a inquiry “Have you of all time wondered what a human life is deserving? ” [ 1 ] The novel makes you think about the extent a individual can travel in order to accomplish what he wants. Stalin wanted to cleanse the full Baltic States. He separated the work forces and adult females, so this manner he could halt adult females acquiring pregnant. There would be no new coevals. Without believing about what the people would hold to travel through. Because of this political orientation it killed 20 million people in world. This is the ground as to why I chose this novel. We are cognizant of the bigger jobs which were brought to visible radiation, like the Jews being killed and many others but the jobs faced by little provinces like Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia were buried and people were silenced. Though the writer had a historical connexion with the Lithuania, her chief purpose to compose this novel is because she wanted the universe to cognize the truth about what happened and so that they won’t non disregard the Lithuanian history. The fresh though a historian fiction ( the writer wanted to do it a fiction instead than a non-fiction so that it would do it easier for the reader every bit good as for her to integrate it and the subsisters could easy speak to her without the fright of being mentioned ) gives you a horrid image of what must hold happened, when the writer had turned in the first bill of exchange. She said it was called as a Lithuania version of Wuthering highs, because it was so dark and she had to revise it.

In the terminal Lina gives out a beautiful message “My hubby, Andrius, says that immorality will govern until good work forces or adult females choose to move. I believe him. This testimony was written to make an absolute record, to talk in a universe where our voices have been extinguished. These composing may floor or dismay you, but that is non my purpose. It is my greatest hope that the pages in this jar stir your deepest well of human compassion. I hope they prompt you to make something, to state person. Merely so can we guarantee that this sort of immorality is ne’er allowed to reiterate itself.” [ 2 ] Conflicts will maintain happening people should get-together and seek to avoid it before it leads to farther effects. The fresh inquiries you question yourself. Would you last if you were in their topographic point?

Between Shades of Gray is a love narrative in the sense amidst all the jobs and conflict gives out message of love for God, humanity and state.


Between sunglassess of grey. n.d. hypertext transfer protocol: // tc/summaries.

Disscussion Guide. n.d. hypertext transfer protocol: //

Good reads [ 2 ]. n.d. hypertext transfer protocol: // page=1.

Ruta Sepetys. n.d. hypertext transfer protocol: // .

— .Between Shades of grey [ 1 ]. n.d. hypertext transfer protocol: // .

Wikipedia. n.d. hypertext transfer protocol: //

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