Dry Tears: The Story Of A Lost Childhood By Nechama Tec

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Dry Tears: The Story of a Lost Childhood by Nechama Tec deals primarily with a character known as Krysia, who is both the narrator and a portrayal of Tec during her childhood growing up in Nazi Germany during the period known today as the Holocaust. Tec includes many characters, minor and major, in her memoir that Krysia meets during her journey for survival. One such character is Ziutka. Krysia meets her in the latter half of the book during which Ziutka and her husband Tadek harbor Krysia’s family in their small apartment in Kielce, Poland. Ziutka, as a whole, is used as a signpost for traits young Krysia sees unfit in women. Ziutka is often characterized as being lazy and selfish; two traits Krysia finds abhorrent. From the very first moment Krysia is describing her, she notes that “Ziutka was almost wholly absorbed …show more content…
In her first description of Ziutka’s children, Krysia is surprised at Ziutka’s indifference towards her children’s well-being, and remarks that Ziutka seems to welcome Krysia and her mother’s complete care for her own children, particularly Waldek, noting that she never asked “if he had been fed or washed or had his other needs attended to; she simply assumed they had been” (135). As mentioned earlier, when Krysia no longer lived with Ziutka she still visited to see the children, however they were often found living in a disheveled environment, their appearance being “half naked, dirty, and unfed” (156). Krysia did her best to remedy this by tidying up and servicing the children’s needs. Later on in the narrative, Krysia witnesses many spousal disputes between Ziutka and Tadek, with one being particularly devastating to the point to where Waldek was involved. Krysia furiously questions, “How could she have left Waldek with a raving maniac? How could she have thought only of saving herself, when her son was possibly being murdered?”

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