Briar Rose

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How does yolen use various characteristics of the text to create an engaging story for readers?

An appealing story is one thats engaging and keeps the reader hanging on to every word of the novel, wanting to find out what comes next. ‘Briar Rose’ by Jane Yolen is one of those stories. It keeps the reader wanting to find out more, it is a mysterious, puzzling story told as a fairytale but having a deep and meaningful history to uncover about the Holocaust, that Yolen hides within a fairytale. Jane Yolen uses a variety of features to ensure a captivating story for her readers.

Briar Rose is mainly about two characters, Gemma and Becca. Gemma is the grandmother of Becca, who’s mission throughout the novel, is to find out the true identity of Gemma after her death. This is a big demand for Becca as it will bring back horrors beyond her belief.

Firstly, the use of Allegory sets us in two different times, one where the grandmother, Gemma tells an interesting version of sleeping beauty to her three granddaughters, while they were young. The other, is where the granddaughters have grown up, their grandmother dies and one granddaughter, Becca tries to find out the real identity of her grandmother, and that’s one of the themes throughout the novel.

In the novel, true Identity is being discovered as Becca reveals the past of her grandmother and where her family really comes from. She discovers the horrors of the Holocaust her grandmother went through and the reasons why she had been confused with so many different documents all stating different names and places. Becca herself finds out more about her and her family’s past and where she comes from, and who her grandfather really is.

Relationships is another important feature of the novel that engages the reader to the novel. The relationship that Becca has with her grandmother is wonderful, she is protecting and caring of her grandmother. Even after the death of Gemma, Becca still kept the promise she made...
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