Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

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Between Shades of Gray Chapter 42 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Using sterling silver serving pieces from her wedding, Elena bribes a grouchy woman who has signed the documents, and the woman agrees to post Elena’s letters in town. Everyone longs for news about the war. They hear that Hitler has pushed Stalin out of Lithuania, but have no idea what this means for the future of the country. Lina wonders what happened to her house, her possessions, and her relatives.
The deportees know very little about the tumultuous events that are raging across the globe as World War II spreads. Though Stalin is no longer in charge of Lithuania, they don’t know if Hitler will be any better. And now that they have been deported, they are still in the clutches of the USSR.
Themes
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
In a flashback, Lina recalls listening to Kostas and his friends speak about politics in hushed voices. They argue whether Stalin or Hitler is worse. Worried about her daughter overhearing upsetting things, Elena orders Lina to go to her room. Bored by their politics anyway, she goes to her room and tries to draw the faces of the men by sound alone. Back in the shack, Lina notes that Jonas has charmed the two Siberian women he works with making shoes. They let him keep scraps so that he can make boots for winter. He learns Russian faster than Lina, and she often asks him to translate. She hates the sound of the Russian language.
Looking back, Lina wishes that she had paid more attention to the political conversations that Kostas frequently had with his friends. At the time, she only eavesdropped for inspiration for her drawings, but in retrospect these conversations now hold great weight in her current situation. Lina resists learning Russian, because it seems to normalize the situation she has been put in, and suggests that she needs to get used to it.
Themes
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon