Fugitive Pieces Essay

1122 Words Feb 10th, 2011 5 Pages
The Second World War, lasting from 1939-1945 has had a lasting impact on the world. For some, more negative than others, it is simply a marvel how such a horrific event can potentially lead to equally bright new happenings. In the book Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, the main character and narrator, Jakob, was serendipitously physically saved from the way by the Greek scientist Athos Roussos. Over time, Jakob grew into a person who could only be defined through true silence, which was seen in his relationship with Athos, his romantic links, and his connection with geographic locations and languages. It is in these ties of Jakob’s life the only language he is fluent in is evident: silence. When Athos first starts taking care of Jakob, …show more content…
After the death of Athos, Jakob is left with nobody to care for him. When Jakob meets Alex, she acts as the joyful breath of fresh air in a life where this kind of pleasant novelty is rarely encountered. With time, Alex herself realizes the world of silence Jakob lives in through his pain. “…And she is [rescuing me]. But each time a memory or story slinks away, it takes more of me with it” (p. 144). The world Jakob creates is so strong that even the love and will of a woman cannot make him escape the gloom. This is the only world he trusts, it is the only part of his life that cannot abandon him. Memories cannot leave one unless one allows it. Every other world he has ever lived in has never had any positive meaning for him, but with memories of his passed close ones, he is safe. They can never abandon him unless he lets go of them, which is the only constant in his life. Constancy is what he is missing in every other aspect of his life. He had parents, but they passed. He had Athos, but he passed after raising him. He had religion, but that became the reason for his problems in terms of the Holocaust. Perhaps the quest for constancy is the “perpetual thirst” (p. 121) Jakob is longing so strongly for.
Although the marriage of Jakob with Alex was unsuccessful, the opposite is true for his union with Michaela. “Love feeds on the protein of detail,” (p. 179) Jakob tells the reader. In

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