Briar Rose Essay

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Yolen enlightens and inspires responders through the use of structure, language and other techniques. The novel Briar Rose by Jane Yolen is a heart wrenching story of sleeping beauty intertwined with the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust. The structure of the novel is altered in a way to interweave three stories including Gemma's Briar Rose fairy tale, Becca's quest and Josef's story. The use of language techniques explores the idea of the characters as it gives an understanding of their circumstances and the situations they experience. Some of the techniques Yolen uses to enlighten responders is the use of other techniques such as allegory and symbolism which acts as a metaphor in which one story represents another.

The structure of Briar Rose is interweaved with three main stories: Gemma's fairytale, Becca's quest and Josef's experience of the holocaust. Two parallel stories are developed simultaneously as Becca realises that Gemma's version of her Briar Rose tale is actually a metaphor for Gemma's life. The placement and segments of the never-completed fairy story at intervals throughout the narrative adds suspense and mystery. Gemma's story is told to the readers most through her own unusual retelling of the original briar rose fairy tale. As in all good fairy tales, the older sisters, are at times unsympathetic to hearing this same favourite story repeated countess times. It is the youngest of the three sisters, Becca, who shows the required goodness and empathy. To her, the storytelling is not only the essence of her childhood, but also the nature of her grandmothers past of its mysterious and aristocratic origins. The placement of segments of the never-completed fairy tale at intervals through the narrative adds suspense and mystery to the novel. More importantly the fairy tale references deepen to the story of Gemma's holocaust sufferings. Yolen also uses intertextuality to structure her novel. The story tells a narrative in the present, but flashbacks...
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