The Speed of Light: Silence Bruises the Heart

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Danielle Phillips
Sister Murdock
English 201
March 10, 2013

The Speed of Light Response Paper- Silence Bruises The Heart

In The Speed of Light, by Elizabeth Rosner, Jacob Perel went through the very traumatic experience of the Holocaust. Because Jacob Perel did not share his holocaust experience with Paula and Julian, he impacted Paula, Julian, and himself in a negative way. Paula, Jacob’s daughter, always coasts through life with an effortless smile across her face…or so it seems. Paula has a beautiful, angelic voice that could stop you in your tracks. “Paula had filled the silence with her own voice.” (175) The silence created by her Father’s omission of his past impacts Paula to have an empty, negative space in her life. On the outside, no one would ever accuse Paula of thinking negatively or being afraid. But, you cannot judge a book by its cover, “You wouldn’t believe it, but I’m still so afraid of the dark, after all this time; I go to sleep with my hands and feet twisted together for comfort.” (123) Jacob never told Paula of his past, which led to Paula feeling insecure, afraid, and lost. Once Paula does find out the truth of her father’s past, she is “broken, like somebody took her (me) apart.” (214) Jacob was just trying to protect his daughter by keeping his past a secret, but in the end has a more negative impact on her life. Julian, Jacob’s son, is constantly worrying and very afraid of the world and what the world may hold. Jacob and Julian have many similarities including their intelligence, stature, “he (Jacob) seemed to prefer silence, as did Julian.” (45) Jacob did not talk about his past, which may have led to Julian not wanting to talk at all. By Jacob not telling Julian of his experiences, it causes Julian to feel a sense of anxiety and doubt. Having so much on his mind, Julian did not sleep very well. Julian does not think it is unordinary to not sleep, because his father has the same “dark circles under his eyes”. Julian had...
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