The Devil 's Arithmetic By Jane Yolen

Decent Essays
It is difficult for anyone to truly understand devastating situations that occur in our history unless we actually experience them ourselves. No matter how much we research, how many pictures we observe, or even the personal stories from the individuals who endure those hard times. We can imagine the pain and tragedy of it, however, can we truly understand it? In The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, is a character named Hannah Stern who undergoes a glimpse of such a tragedy and completely shifts her outlook on her family’s history in the Holocaust. Throughout the story, Hannah depicts an unappreciative hora towards remembering the past of her family, subsequently she receives the glimpse of the past and completely transforms her attitude. Hannah attended a Seder that her grandparents performed for Passover. Before she arrived, Hannah made excuses that she did not know it was Passover, or that she forgot about it, and how she already ate to be excused from it. Her mother explained the importance of remembering to her, which Hannah replied with, “All Jewish holidays are about remembering, Mama. I’m tired of remembering” (Yolen 4). Already demonstrating her indifference about remembering what took place so long ago, one receives the sense that Hannah is simply another teenager that is ignorant towards such important events in life. Her ignorance is also demonstrated when Hannah had been younger and took a fascination in the number on her grandpa’s arm, therefore she thought
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