Briar Rose: A Literary Analysis

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Concerning Yolen’s book in general, this has been classified as different narrative forms because of its content. Children’s book, fairy tale for young adults, adult book, Holocaust tale or novel are some of the categorizations mentioned in the interview by RoseEtta Stone. Even in the author’s webpage, this work is classified in “Adult Novel”, “Adults”, “Young Adult” and “Fairy Tales”. What is undeniable is that, although “Briar Rose was written and published as an adult book” (Stone n. pag.), it can be read by young adult readers to start being familiarized with some events of the past. In fact, this book has been introduced into “many high schools and college courses as a core text” (Stone n. pag.) despite being a work of fiction.
It is generally agreed that literature is an excellent pedagogical tools for teaching children about the Holocaust without overwhelming them with
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It is difficult to believe that human being is able to cause all this hate and horrors. However, as one of the prisoners in the book states “everything that [went] on [t]here cannot be […]. But still it happen[ed]” (175) and although this is a work of fiction and the events narrated are invented, these are an example of real facts that could happen. For this reason, the author inserted a section at the end of the book “assert[ing] the story’s fictitiousness” (Jordan 209). She gives real numbers of the victims and points out that “happy-ever-after is a fairy tale notion, not history. [Because she knows] no woman who escaped from Chelmno alive” (Yolen 241). With this final statement, she emphasizes the idea that she has used some strategies to soften the topic of the Holocaust because it is a complex issue. Nevertheless, she maintains that writers and storyteller must remember and tell these events as they are “the memory of civilization” not to be repeated again. (Stone n.
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