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Briar Rose authored by Jane Yolen is a powerful and moving novel which challenges the audience to understand the

world in new ways through the use of the main distinctive features of allegory, parallelism and themes. Allegory is used to act as a metaphor in which one story symbolizes another. Parallelism is used to explore the connections between the traditional fairy tale 'Sleeping Beauty' and historical concepts of the Holocaust by alternating chapters. The use of themes investigates the view of history and memory and gives representations of different aspects of reality.

Allegory is used as an extended metaphor to show one story through another allowing the audience to make similarities with a well-known story. This technique is evident when Gemma tells her life story to her grandchildren through the fairy tale of Briar Rose and also when Josef recounts his life through the war. There is an alternate story that holds the audiences attention because they have more than one topic to think about. For example within the fairy tale the prince says But do you know courage? And saying so he put his right hand into the thorns. When Josef is portrayed as the prince it is revealed he also did something similar, Josef practically strolled up to the fence and, heedless of cuts to his hands & feet, flung himself up and over the wire. The audience is now made aware of the events that will occur through the fairy tale before they do in real life however some events will only barely touch on the fairy tale expectation. For example the prince that saved Briar Rose is not the typical prince in real life, Josef is homosexual and therefore his intentions with Gemma are merely to save her life. This technique is engaging to the audience as they are brought into the story because it is familiar. Another effective technique used by the author that engages the audience is the use of parallelism. This is evident through the historical account of Gemmas experiences at Chelmno, the contemporary story of Beccas quest and Gemmas telling of the fairy tale are all interwoven. The alternate chapters reflect the technique adding two stories simultaneously supporting each other. Audiences will find the addition of a fairy tale to parallel Gemma's past experiences to make the reading more understandable and easy to follow. This is displayed through Josef saving Gemma from the concentration camp, he practically strolled up to the fence and heedless of cuts to his hands and feet, flung himself up and over the wire, in relation to the fairy tale when the prince places his hand through the thorns to save the princess, " 'but do you know courage?' and so saying, he put his right hand into the thorns". The male personas are both seen as heroes in each of the scenarios, except for the fact that Josefs kiss to Gemma is one of survival as he is homosexual and the Prince's kiss to the Princess was of a romantic context. The use of themes explores memory and history in the novel. There are numerous themes that are established within Briar Rose including: storytelling, love, hope, redemption, truth, hope and heroism. These themes explore history and memory through the way they give portraits of different aspects of reality. The theme love can be linked towards family ties and the love seen through Becca and Stan. For example, Beccas extreme love for Gemma leads her to go on the quest in search for answers. Truth as a theme can be explored through a history aspect

seen within the authors note compared to the storyline within the novel and underlies the true fact that it is indeed fiction. As within the novel Gemma is seen as the only survivor at the Chelmno Detention Camp and within the authors note it is redeemed by Jane Yolen clarifying that there is no women who escaped from Chelmno alive.

Realistic characterisation is another technique used by Yolen to shape the reader's response to the experiences of the central characters, including the events of the holocaust. Within the novel the audience notices materialistic characters like Shana and Sylvia who are selfcentred. For example, Why couldnt she have died in Florida this puts emphasis on the fact that Shana doesnt care about her grandmothers death. Heroic characters like Josef who choose not to take credit for their actions He practically strolled up to the fence and heedless of cuts to his hands and feet, flung himself over the fence. Selfish characters like the SS men and the bad fairy. For example, take off your clothes, and roll commanded a voice They were to roll in the snow until the SS men themselves were too cold to stand about watching anymore. Each of these characters is identifiable in the real world and therefore emphasise the real-life feel to the novel.

Briar Rose is an exceptionally emotional novel. The language used by Yolen is very graphic, openly depicting the horrifying events that took place in the concentration camps. The vivid depictions Josef Potocki gave of his struggle makes the reader feel as if they suffered right along with him. Yolen demonstrates an intertwining feature between the fairy-tale; Sleeping Beauty and the Holocaust experience which was undergone by Gemma. He uses the story of Sleeping Beauty to symbolise what actually happened in the concentration camps. The result of which is a novel depicting the atrocities of the Holocaust from a number of diverse perspectives and emotions. All of the distinctive features create an influential story which engages the audience about the world in different ways by not only re-telling the horrors of the Holocaust but also its legacy, revealing the impact it had on the survivors and giving another viewpoint on the actions of our past.

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