Structure Briar Rose - Jane Yolen

992 WordsOct 7, 20054 Pages
Jane Yolen's use of structure in the novel Briar Rose is very clever. Her use of allegory and the technique of parallel narrative is very effective in conveying her story which she delivers in a superb fashion. Elements of the story are reveled at specific times to tie in with the theme of growth and development both personal and historical. The use of allegory drives the story along. It is a constant reminder of The Holocaust to ensure the reader is not too captivated by the fairy tale element of the novel. The use of allegory grounds the novel, gives it a sense of realism. Whilst the story Yolen tells is fictional the setting in which they exist is not. By using true elements in the building and development of characters they are…show more content…
Kzienska, the princess behind the barbed wire, the rose past the thorns, the beauty in the horror are all references to Sleeping Beauty and at the same time refer to the brutal period in Gemma's life that was the Holocaust. Becca sets of on a journey to discover the true meaning of the story of Sleeping Beauty. After several dead ends and leads that dried up with little information being discovered Becca finds her way to Poland and eventually to a man named Josef Potoki. This leads her to discover in depth the story of her grandmother and its makes her come to the realization how lucky she is to have a close and loving family and most of all to live in a prejudice free society. Josef's story is shocking and at times unbelievable it is however a very true indication of times for minorities during the Holocaust. Gemma past is uncovered after we hear Josef's story, we no longer think of her as just a grandma with a repetitive fable but of a survivor, of a brave warrior who chose to live. Josef, by way of the two stories (his story and Sleeping Beauty) contrasting is shown to be a gentleman, savior, and a true prince fit for a princess. The idea of him being called the prince and him being in fact the man who wakes Gemma with the kiss of life is important and extremely clever; it symbolizes Josef's personal growth as he puts his own dignity and self preservation on the line to save one soul from a pile dead rotting corpses. Jane Yolen tells an

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