Surviving the Holocaust

A discussion of how the main characters in the books “Briar Rose” and “The Accident” cope with surviving the Holocaust.

This paper examines the books “Briar Rose” by Jane Yolen and “The Accident” by Elie Wiesel. A summary of each story is presented. The different ways in which each of the survivors cope with their memories and their new lives are discussed.
“The “Briar Rose” and “The Accident” are both stories told by Holocaust survivors that take the reader back to the days of concentration camps, reveal the horrors of their experiences, and show how they are forced to deal with them decades later in completely different worlds. Both stories take place in modern day, where people are the survivors cannot fathom such horrific acts. Both survivors deal with their pain by shutting down but both have different ways of finding peace.
Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose tells the story of the main character, Becca, and her search to discover her dead grandmother’s past. The story mixes present day with memories of the Holocaust, and is written like “Sleeping Beauty”, the fairy tale. When her grandmother, Gemma, dies, Becca finds several clues to her past: a box with keepsakes, old pictures, a ticket stub, a man’s passport, an engraved ring, and newspaper clippings. Becca also has memories of the story of Briar Rose or Sleeping Beauty, which was told to her many times by Gemma.”
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