Briar Rose Allegory

1451 Words May 28th, 2008 6 Pages
Jane Yolen, in her novel Briar Rose, has used an allegory of Briar Rose or Sleeping Beauty as a metaphor to hide the real experiences and emotions suffered from the Holocaust during World War Two. The development and techniques employed within the story are extremely effective for the use of the allegory.

Yolen has used a number of techniques to assist in the use of the allegory. She has used the title Briar Rose, Yolen has selected this specific title as it is another name for Sleeping Beauty, which is the basis of the story which Gemma tells throughout the novel. She has also kept to the structure of a typical fairy tale. She has done this to continue the allegory between the fairy tale and real life by the inclusion of characters
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By using the box and the items inside it, Yolen makes Becca have the desire to go on this quest to Poland. By having the quest, each clue unravels another piece of the mystery which surrounds Gemma’s life and therefore the allegory.

The allegory within the story is the Holocaust and Gemma’s experiences. Yolen has used the allegory to disguise the atrocities which occurred during the war when many countries where under the control of the Nazi’s. Yolen has included Josef’s story to include a more in depth and factual account of the experiences. He was also included into the novel, so that the reader also has a sense of satisfaction as they are able to discover the mystery which surrounds Gemma's life. His story shows why Gemma tells the fairy of Sleeping Beauty and therefore uses the allegory. Yolen has started the novel with “Once upon a time” to create the meaning and feeling as if this is a fairy tale. She also ends the tale with “And they lived happily ever after”. By using the traditional beginning and ending of a fairy tale, she has kept in the theme of the two story, the fairy tale and the allegory which has used the story of reality. Within the novel, Yolen has also included an Authors Note. The Authors Note is used to provide a sense of reality to the reader as Yolen said “Happy-ever-after is a fairy tale notion, not history. I know of no women who escaped from Chelmno alive.” Throughout the novel, the reader is inspired and filled
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