Essay on Briar Rose

842 Words Sep 11th, 2008 4 Pages
The use of multiple layers of narrative in Jane Yolen’s- Briar Rose is highly effective in communicating the story and the story and themes concerning Gemma’s past experiences of the Holocaust and Becca’s quest for truth and fulfilment of her Grandmother’s legacy. Yolen uses a number of voices or accounts of events to give the reader a dramatic sense of the extent and the horror of Gemma’s experiences. The fairytale story, Becca’s quest and Joseph Potocki, all add richness of detail to the novel as a whole. Techniques that incorporate this include symbolism, allegory, intertexuality, narrative structure and language. Gemma’s use of the Sleeping Beauty story as an allegory enables her to pass a record of shocking events, which add drama …show more content…
Yolen uses satire to contrast between the comfort in America, to the suffering of the darker parts of the fairytale world and the Holocaust. Character voices add layers of experience, reality and suffering; identifying in the truth of the holocaust. The fairytale technique was to give Briar Rose a touch of childhood innocence, such as the imagery of Gemma telling the story to Becca and her sisters. Yolen has used this technique to tell the reader that her story is not so innocent. When ideas of the war are revealed, the audience contrasts the images Gemma had portrayed. Yolen has also juxtaposed the imagery of a happy household in modern times to the imagery of the Holocaust. When Becca travels to Poland, as her quest deepens she listens to Joseph Potocki’s tale which reveals the survival story of Gemma. Here he tells us how he has gone into the pits of hell to rescue her from the grave of dead bodies, where he breathes life into her. This imagery emphasises a part of Gemma’s fairytale where the prince kisses the sleeping awake. Joseph uses spare and heroic language in “we rescue one, the kill one thousand. Still one is enough”. The repetition of these key motifs reinforces the message of the novel. The themes of human resilience and remembrance is incorporated through Joseph. Joseph’s story creates the image of pain and suffering. While “Briar Rose” deals with the historical reality of World War 2, Joseph’s story accentuates his heroic efforts

Related Documents