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November 6, 2005

Torn Away

Samuels, Kindertransport -- Drama as Literature (EL 250)

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Eva was completely separated from her family when she fled to England. But what is worse that she was also torn from her culture of being Jewish and German when Lil took care of her. Eva was forced by Lil to learn English and Christain customs.

LIL: What about your sandwiches? When did you eat them if you were writing all lunchtime?

EVA:Sandiches got ham in. I not to eat ham. It from pig.

LIL: But I asked you and you said yes

This conversation continues to question Eva's very religion and custom. She ran from Germany to prevent that kind of hatred, so why go there and basically be told that what she believe in is wrong? After all that she been through at least Lil should have embraced Eva's (or Evelyn) culture a little bit better in the begining of the play. Don't you think so?

Posted by KevinHinton at November 6, 2005 2:02 PM

Comments

Kevin,

I thought about the embracing as well: but think of this, in times like these, it is survival that one is more worried about than eating a ham sandwich. It is also true that throughout that scene, she was confused about some of the words and then, she understood that it was something that she did not traditionally eat.

I am not sure if cultural diffusion and religious tolerance is something we should be focusing as heavily on in this selection, because perhaps the English were ignorant to the ways of the Jewish people. Through Eva, Lil learned about the culture.

Good thoughts, Kevin.

Posted by: Katie Aikins at November 6, 2005 6:39 PM

Kevin you are so right...I think it is interesting that Eva was sent away to England not only in order to keep her safe physically, but also spiritually and culturally. The Jewish traditions were being suppressed and they were being persecuted. So Helga sent her daughter away so that she would be safe and free to practice her beliefs without oppression in hopes that she would soon join her. But, while Eva was in England, she was expected to assimilate to the culture there and she left behind a lot of her heritage.

Katie, maybe many people in England were ignorant of the ways of the Jewish people, but I do agree with Kevin that they should have tried to embrace the traditions a little bit more. It is hard with a war going on to worry about those sort of things I agree, but if they are just going to leave all their belief and customs behind, why seek shelter in England. What would they be fighting for?

Posted by: Lorin Schumacher at November 6, 2005 10:37 PM

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