I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors

1930 Words8 Pages
Art as a Second Language Bernice Eisenstein’s novel I was a Child of Holocaust Survivors uses both art and modern language to express the feelings and emotions associated with her family’s traumatic history. Eisenstein blends images throughout her work to help the readers gain a better understanding of the emotional journey that she has undertaken through writing this novel. Not only does she tell the story of her life but she also incorporates the life stories of her family and community. She uses images to further express feelings which cannot be articulated in words. Not only does she use images throughout the story to visually represent things she uses extreme language and comparisons to demonstrate her desire to understand her…show more content…
Eisenstein holds her cards tight to her chest, letting revelations come when they are no longer expected. This technique reflects her characterization of memory as an unmapped place filled with unexpected links. Additionally, each back-story begins as a present daily relationship with an ordinary person.” (Kaminsky). This allows the reader to imagine themselves as the narrator remembering a tragic past. Many of the images the Eisenstein presents lack colour and detail which represents her lack of clarity on the Holocaust. On writing the novel Eisenstein said: “I moved between writing and drawing. A drawing led me to thoughts that I wanted to write down, and when I wrote, ideas for drawings came out of there.” (Pan Macmillan). This is evident throughout the novel as Eisenstein often presents an image to the reader before explaining its relevance. The image allows the readers to question its potential significance which is often revealed in writing in the following pages in the novel. There is a constant reversal between images and words to convey the true meaning of the novel. An example of this can be seen in Eisenstein’s portrayal of herself; she repeatedly presents herself in a childlike form, naked, sitting on top of something almost pensive. This repeated image conveys a sense of innocence and confusion. On page ten she is drawn sitting on a mound of Yiddish words that are jumbled and saying: “I am lost in memory. It is not a place that has been mapped,
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