Symbolism In The Nightingale

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Setting

In the novel The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, the cities of Carriveau and Paris are transformed from peaceful locations into bloody war zones after the Germans invaded France. Setting is used to emphasize the destructive impact the Nazis had in France during its occupation in World War II. During the middle of the Nazi’s conquest over France, it is noted that, “These days, Paris was a woman screaming. Noise, noise, noise. Whistles blaring, shotguns firing, lorries rumbling, soldiers shouting.” (Hannah 347) This line from the novel is significant because it directly contrasts with another description written at the beginning of the novel which mentioned a little girl’s laughter. The peaceful, innocent young girl has been
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The character of Vianne Rossignol matures from a weak, dependant wife, to a woman who risks her life to save her children as well as the children of many Jews. Initially, Isabelle begins as the rash but courageous sister, and Vianne is cautious and cowardly. After Antoine, Vianne’s husband leaves to fight in the war, she realizes that she must protect her family, prompting Vianne to say, “‘I’ll be brave,’ she said, ‘You just tell my sister that she needs to start being afraid.’” (Hannah 301) Vianne gains the courage to take risks when she sees Isabelle being brave and true to her own beliefs, helping her overcome her insecurities and grow as a person. This relates to the theme of empowerment in the novel, Vianne would henceforth begin to lie to the Nazi living in her home and risk herself to save Jewish children in her community. Vianne and Isabelle are sisters who are both different and the same. They initially have two different personalities, but struggle with the same inner conflicts. The character of Vianne Rossignol matures from a weak, dependant wife, to a woman who risks her life to save the lives of many others. Figurative…show more content…
Near the end of the novel she observes, “In the years she had been tying scraps to the branches, the tree had died and the fruit turned bitter. The other apple trees were hale and healthy, but this one, the tree of her remembrances, were as black and twisted as the bombed-out town behind it.” (Hannah 368) The apple tree represents the outcomes of war. It portrays the author’s perspective that lives wither and lose life due to such violence. Vianne’s experiences, her life, her friends and family, the person she used to be, have died as the war continued. This metaphor of a captures the destruction caused by
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