“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” (Johann von Goethe) “The Endless Steppe” by Esther Hautzig is a novel about a family’s determination to survive. In the novel it tells of how determination, the human ability to adopt, and happiness can hold a family together and help them even preserver over all odds. In addition, “The Endless Steppe” tells of Reisa, Ryia, and Esther tales of how they overcame these ordeals and survived in Siberia in their own way.
The theme of this book is that the human capacity to adapt to and find happiness in the most difficult circumstances. Each character in the novel shows this in their way. For instance, their family is randomly taken from their home and forced to work but they still remain a close nit family. In addition, they even manage to stick together after being separated for one of their own. These show how even in the darkest time they still manage to find a glimmer of hope and they pursued on.
The first person that illustrated the theme of the book was Esther’s grandmother Reisa. Reisa showed this by always keeping her pride and her dignity even the toughest of times, which helped her and her family move on. For instance, even when they were forced to live on these camps she would always try to look her best. She always wore a silk dress and did her cuticles. In addition, she also illustrates theme by caring for her families even in the toughest of time by keeping them together and raising their spirits. For instance, when Esther lost the rubbles her mother gave she said, “She is only twelve years old, she helps keep house like a little old woman, she studies like a Talmudic scholar, she carries bricks back and forth. No. Enough is already too much. Esther, there is nothing more you can do that I will permit you to do. Just do well at school, that’s all I ask. The way things are you will need every drop of education you can get. For the rest, you leave the rubles to me.” That is...
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