Metaphors Used In Yolen's Briar Rose

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Having analysed the metaphors used in Gemma’s fairy tale to refer to the darkest aspects of the Holocaust, there is no doubt that the harshness of this testimony is greatly softened. This moderation, in addition to the fact that these stories are one of the most important strategies to transmit fundamental values from generation to generation (Mara 67), makes Yolen’s Briar Rose a good option for teaching about the Holocaust. Children’s literature makes a young child aware of basic human conflicts and helps him or her to deal with them. Yolen’s book tries to connect the audience to some values at the same time she teaches the history of this event. In order to do this, this work differentiates two stories connected or as Sarah Jordan suggests,…show more content…
As I have explained before, this character is locked in compulsive repetition because of melancholia and uses the story of “Briar Rose” to escape from reality and evade her pain. By making use of this fairy tale, Gemma has different goals: supressing painful memories, telling her granddaughters about her past and remembering those who died under the Nazi genocide. She principally builds a fictional world to disguise the horrors of her experience, as explained in the previous section, but, by doing so, she is also creating an allegorical testimony that makes the history of the Holocaust accessible to her granddaughters. These children were around ten years old during the first narration of the story so, they probably were used to hearing happy ending stories where the moral was ‘the good always outweighs the bad’. However, in this case, the end of the story is not the most important part of it, but the events occurring during the narration and the people who suffered because of them. For this reason, Gemma uses some words in the tale to talk about dead people, which are an attempt to build a collective memory: “The future is when people talk about the past. So if the prince knows all their past lives and tells all the people who are still to come, then the princes live again and into the future”(Yolen 111). By…show more content…
The child will extract different meaning from the same fairy tale, depending on his interests and needs of the moment. When given the chance, he will return to the same tale when he is ready to enlarge on old meaning, or replace them with new ones. (12)
In this context, the generation of postmemory and the discovery of the authentic meaning of fairy tales are linked in the figure of Becca. She was the child who empathized with this story and identifies her grandmother as the main character despite she had not admitted it previously. Driven by her promise and the found objects, she travels to Poland to find the truth of her past. After a long investigation, she returns to the same tale with a completely renewed interpretation. Therefore, it could be stated that Gemma has fulfilled her goal with the narration of the fairy
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