Review of The Endless Steppe Essay

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Review of The Endless Steppe

The book is a war-time autobiography about Esther Hautzig's exile to Russia during World War 1. At the beginning of the account it is set in Poland and then transfers with the movement of the refugees she is with to Russia. Esther Hautzig wrote the book looking back on her past life in 1968.

The First World War affected Esther's life from 1939 when Hitler's armies marched on Poland until when she was released from exile in 1946. In 1940 the Russians who were allies of Germany occupied Vilna the place where Esther and her family lived. Ether and her family embark upon their adventure when they are accused of being capitalists and are arrested by some Russian
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Mama said: 'very well, don't go'."

"I stayed at home until it was time to go to grade school…"

This incident shows how strong minded both Esther and her mother are. Neither of them will give in and let the other win. It also shows how rich Esther was and how perfect her life was to be worried so much about not having silk panties.

The next incident that shows Ether's progression as a character is when they are at the train station after beginning their exile and Grandfather Solomon is separated from Esther, her father, her mother and her grandmother. Grandmother is devastated and Esther starts to think about how other people are feeling.

Here are some quotes from this part of the story.

"My grandmother cried out."

"Never have I heard a more dreadful scream, not even in a nightmare."

"My grandfather shuffled past us without a word."

"With one hand I stroked my grandmother's arm as she sobbed openly, and with the other hand I clung to my father, clung fiercely lest he too be taken away from me."

From this incident Esther begins to learn how traumatic life can be and how harshly exile will treat her. She learns that throughout her experience she will feel mixed feelings and be anxious about how other