Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

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Andrius Arvydas Character Analysis

Andrius is the son of a military officer, and similar in age to Lina. The two teenagers meet on the train towards Siberia. Andrius’ mother, who has spared her son from being imprisoned with the other able-bodied men by claiming he is mentally disabled, accompanies Andrius on the train. Though Andrius searches for his father in the other train cars, he fears that the NKVD has killed him. He is fiercely protective of his mother, and often helps Lina’s family procure food and shelter. Andrius and Lina have an immediate connection, though the trauma of the camps pushes them apart at times. Andrius takes Jonas under his wing, offering protection and guidance that comforts Lina and her mother. Though Andrius and Lina are separated after Lina and her family are moved from the first camp, Lina’s letter in the epilogue shows that the two survived, reconnected, and eventually married.

Andrius Arvydas Quotes in Between Shades of Gray

The Between Shades of Gray quotes below are all either spoken by Andrius Arvydas or refer to Andrius Arvydas. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Speak edition of Between Shades of Gray published in 2012.
Chapter 11 Quotes

“You’re very brave to have come. You must all stay together. I know you’ll take good care of your sister and mother while I am away.”
“I will, Papa, I promise,” said Jonas. “When will we see you?”
Papa paused. “I don’t know. Hopefully soon.”
I clutched the bundle of clothes. Tears began dropping down my cheeks.
“Don’t cry, Lina. Courage,” said Papa. “You can help me.”
“Do you understand?” My father looked at Andrius, hesitant. “You can help me find you,” he whispered. “I’ll know it’s you…just like you know Munch. But you must be very careful.”

Related Characters: Lina Vilkas (speaker), Jonas Vilkas (speaker), Kostas Vilkas (speaker), Elena Vilkas, Andrius Arvydas
Related Symbols: Drawing
Page Number: 44
Explanation and Analysis:

When a train full of men pulls into the station next to Lina’s train, Jonas wakes her and Andrius in the night so that they can go look for their fathers. After much searching, Lina and Jonas eventually find Kostas. He speaks to them through the bathroom hole, and they can see that his face is badly bruised. He gives them food and goods to pass to Elena. In this quote, he urges his children to have courage for his sake so that they may be resilient and persevere. He also hints to Lina that she can use her drawing skills to make distinctive drawings, so that he can trace them back to her and reunite the family.

This is the first and last time that Lina sees Kostas in the novel, outside of memories of him. Kostas and Lina have a very special bond, and he is very supportive of her artistic talent. Elena and Kostas are equal pillars of knowledge and strength in the Vilkas family, and though the two children are grateful for their mother’s presence, they all greatly miss Kostas and wish he were around to support the family as well. Lina will spend much of the novel drawing symbols and markers of what she is going through and where she has been, in the hopes that they will find their way to Kostas and that they will be reunited again some day. These brief words of encouragement follow Lina for years.

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Chapter 27 Quotes

“Hey, there was blond hair under all that dirt,” said Andrius, reaching out and grabbing a strand of my hair. I shrank back and looked away. Mother put her arm around me.

Related Characters: Andrius Arvydas (speaker), Lina Vilkas
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

After they are hauled off of the trucks and fail to be sold to Siberians, the group of deportees is brought to bathhouses where they wash for the first time in weeks. The women are forced to undress in front of the NKVD guards, who leer at them. One guard gropes Lina’s breast, and Elena violently pushes him away. In this quote, Andrius playfully compliments Lina’s appearance now that she has been cleaned, but she flinches from his touch instinctively, since the last man who reached out to touch her did so without consent.

Sexual assault and rape are often used against women in times of war. As a young girl, Lina is particularly vulnerable, and Elena will do anything to protect her daughter from the violence of the guards. Even though Lina finds Andrius kind and attractive, sexual assault can cause PTSD in victims, and Lina flinches from his touch despite the fact that she knows and feels safe with him. Lina doesn’t tell Jonas what happened because she doesn’t want to upset him, and because she is still not sure how to process the assault. Elena knows right away why Lina flinches, however, and she is there to comfort her and silently tell her that she has support.

Chapter 39 Quotes

“Because they threatened to kill me unless she slept with them. And if they get tired of her, they still might kill me. So how would you feel, Lina, if your mother felt she had to prostitute herself to save your life?

Related Characters: Andrius Arvydas (speaker), Lina Vilkas, Mrs. Arvydas
Page Number: 159
Explanation and Analysis:

One day, Lina sees Mrs. Arvydas serving drinks to the NKVD through the window of the barracks. She realizes that Andrius and Mrs. Arvydas are working for the NKVD. She confronts Andrius about it and, in this quote, he flies into a rage and tells her the truth: the NKVD threatened to kill Andrius if Mrs. Arvydas didn’t agree to sleep with them. Here Andrius reveals that his life is still in danger should the NVKD ever change their minds.

Though Lina and Elena have fortunately not been raped by the guards, Lina was groped by the guard at the bathhouse, and Elena was once accosted by many guards and saved at the very last moment by Kretszky. Like Elena, Mrs. Arvydas would do anything to protect her children, and she is willing to prostitute herself if it means saving Andrius’ life. However, they all know of the arbitrary nature of the NKVD’s decisions—one day, they might decide they don’t want to keep up their end of the bargain anymore, and kill them both. Though Andrius and Mrs. Arvydas live lives that are relatively more comfortable compared to the other deportees, no one would want to trade places with them. Lina is horrified at this revelation, and disgusted with herself for jumping to conclusions.

Chapter 62 Quotes

“Look at me,” whispered Andrius, moving close. “I’ll see you,” he said. “Just think about that. Just think about me bringing you your drawings. Picture it, because I’ll be there.”

Related Characters: Andrius Arvydas (speaker), Lina Vilkas
Related Symbols: Drawing
Page Number: 248
Explanation and Analysis:

One day Andrius comes into Lina’s shack, warning her, Jonas, and Elena that they are on an NKVD list to be relocated. Andrius and his mother, however, are not. Lina and her family do not know where they are being sent or why they are on this list, but they assume it is because they have not signed the documents. Wherever they are going, it is unlikely to be any better than the labor camp. The NKVD come in the morning, while it is still dark, and call names. In this quote, Andrius says goodbye to Lina, and promises her he will keep her drawings safe. He also promises her that they will see each other again some day.

The romance between Lina and Andrius is proof that despite the NKVD’s best efforts, they cannot remove the humanity and the spirit of the deportees. Even though they treat them like animals, they are real human beings whose true love and sacrifice come to light in the worst of conditions. Lina and Andrius fall in love not despite, but perhaps because of the horrors they face together. As Lina goes off into the great unknown, Andrius puts his own life in danger by harboring her drawings, which contain potentially dangerous and subversive images. The idea of seeing Andrius again is something that gets Lina through the worst of times, and the thought of Lina likely helps Andrius through many hardships as well. One of the small miracles of the novel is that, in the end, they do reunite, and get married.

Chapter 82 Quotes

“No, I saw it. She was pretty. Krasivaya.”
No. Not that word. I was supposed to learn it on my own. Not from Kretszky.
“It means beautiful, but with strength,” he slurred. “Unique.”

Related Characters: Nikolai Kretszky (speaker), Lina Vilkas, Elena Vilkas, Andrius Arvydas
Page Number: 324
Explanation and Analysis:

After Elena dies, Lina is the sole provider for herself and Jonas. One day, she sneaks behind the NKVD barracks to try and steal some firewood—but Kretszky is there, and he is drunk. Though Lina is afraid he is going to report her for stealing the wood, he reveals that he is sad about the loss of Elena, and he tells Lina about the death of his own mother when he was young. In this quote, he tells Lina that he thought Elena was special—“krasivaya.” This is the same word that Andrius tells Lina he believes applies to her, but that he wants her to find the translation for herself. Lina, who hates Kreszky with a passion, is horrified that she finds out what the word means from him.

In the novel, the traditional patriarchal gender roles are flipped when the men are separated from the women, children, and infirm, and the women are allowed to show their true strength and resilience. This kind of strength is suppressed in domestic life, where women are generally expected to carry out certain duties and keep their opinions to themselves. Indeed, Kostas’ protective view that Lina should not have opinions about the Soviet Union is a part of this suppression, however good his intentions are. Ironically, in the prisons of the NKVD in the Siberian tundra, Lina and Elena are allowed to let their true strength and inner beauty flourish without internal patriarchal suppression. Even Kretszky, an NKVD officer who has meted out his own fair share of torture, sees that both women have an astounding inner strength that helped them to survive. Though Elena has passed, Lina carries on her strength and grace—her krasivaya.

Chapter 85 Quotes

I closed my eyes. I felt Andrius moving close. “I’ll see you,” he said.
“Yes, I will see you,” I whispered. “I will.”
I reached into my pocket and squeezed the stone.

Related Characters: Andrius Arvydas
Related Symbols: Andrius’ Stone
Page Number: 274
Explanation and Analysis:

After Dr. Samodurov leaves, Jonas and Janina eventually begin to heal. Lina is also given new hope that Kostas might be alive, after the doctor tells her that he theorizes Ivanov might have been lying to Elena for sport. Lina then sees a sliver of sunlight on the horizon: the end of the polar night is in sight. They have survived the winter. Furthermore, Lina is given new hope that she might actually see Andrius again. In this quote, she imagines he is with her. She squeezes the stone for comfort, and hopes to see him again someday.

The romance of Lina and Andrius is one of the most touching and human aspects of the novel. Despite the inhumane hardships and suffering they endure, they find beauty in one another, and are able to bond over their admiration of one another’s strength. Before she leaves the first labor camp, Andrius promises Lina that he will see her again one day. He urges her to imagine him returning her drawings to her—they are a kind of collateral for their eventual reunion. The thought of someone to live for gives Lina strength and hope in even the most extreme conditions, and the thought of Lina likely does the same for Andrius. Their love, and the deportees’ continued grace and support for one another, shows that even in the most desperate situations, love and human compassion prevails, despite the desperate attempts of evil to squash these very human traits.

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Andrius Arvydas Character Timeline in Between Shades of Gray

The timeline below shows where the character Andrius Arvydas appears in Between Shades of Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
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...might be heading. Lina and Jonas begin to chat with a boy Lina’s age named Andrius Arvydas while Elena speaks to his mother. Andrius says his father is in the army,... (full context)
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Andrius’ mother tells Elena that she had to bribe and tell the NKVD that Andrius is... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...shakes her head—she left it in her room at home in the panic of packing. Andrius sits smoking a cigarette, and tells Lina he is seventeen. When she asks how long... (full context)
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Lina wakes up to Andrius’ nudging. Jonas is at the door of the car. He tells Lina that an hour... (full context)
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Jonas, Andrius, and Lina creep along the sides of the train cars, asking for their fathers via... (full context)
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...hand, even if she doesn’t specifically write down that it is from or by her. Andrius asks if his father is in the car, but he isn’t there. Andrius insists on... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...but Mr. Stalas disdainfully tells her he doesn’t want it. Mrs. Arvydas is upset that Andrius did not return with them. Lina notices a priest outside the train cars, and wonders... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...Finland. Lina wonders if Kostas is near her cousin Joana, and falls asleep wondering where Andrius is. (full context)
Chapter 14
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...dark and hears a noise outside. She looks out to see a very badly beaten Andrius. She jumps down out of the car to help him, and Lina and others help... (full context)
Chapter 19
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...of her child, but the bald man rudely tells her it is better off dead. Andrius yells at him, and tells him to shut up and stop being so pessimistic. No... (full context)
Chapter 20
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...hole, and Miss Grybas grabs it and commits the act for her. Meanwhile, Jonas and Andrius become closer. Lina thinks he is a bad influence on Jonas, especially since he teaches... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...chastises her for wasting money, but Elena replies that it is what they all needed. Andrius finds a beautiful oval stone made of quartz and minerals, and Mrs. Arvydas pretends it... (full context)
Chapter 23
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...they arrive at Lina’s group, Mrs. Arvydas begs Elena to tell them in Russian that Andrius is a simpleton. Elena tells them, and they leave the group alone. They are given... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...Mrs. Arvydas points out that they are lucky not to have been sold as slaves. Andrius, Jonas, and Lina discuss why their parents have been put on the list to deport.... (full context)
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...He rips up the drawing and throws it in the fire. Back in the present, Andrius asks Lina if she is serious about wanting the Soviets to be blown up. Lina... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...forth, chanting “No.” Elena goes to comfort her, and Lina sits in the grass with Andrius. She notes his strong jaw line, and wishes she could draw him. He notes her... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...been thinking about the guard groping her. She ignores him and squeezes the stone from Andrius for comfort. Andrius playfully notes that Lina’s hair is blond once the dirt has been... (full context)
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...and though Elena scrambles to pull her away, the guard shoots Ona in the head. Andrius urges Lina not to look at Ona’s body, but to look at him instead. The... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Lina sees Andrius on her way back to her hut. He tells her she looks horrible, and Lina... (full context)
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Lina gives the cigarettes to Elena and passes along Andrius’ hello. The Altaian woman demands the cigarettes as payment, and Elena gives her one. They... (full context)
Chapter 38
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...what she could be bringing him. She goes outside and sees Elena talking discreetly to Andrius, who hands her a bundle. Through a window Lina sees Mrs. Arvydas distributing drinks to... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...aloud if the NKVD will wake them again to sign the papers. Elena notes that Andrius gave them bread to eat with the soup they make. Lina scoffs at the notion... (full context)
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...man each day. Eventually Jonas agrees to do it, and Elena insists they go together. Andrius meets them there and gives them salami. Lina is rude to him despite the food,... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Back in the shack, Elena chastises Lina for resisting Andrius’ attempts at friendship. She notes that Kostas was quite clumsy in his courtship of her.... (full context)
Chapter 45
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...her payment of two cigarettes. Behind the NKVD barracks, Lina notices Mrs. Arvydas crying and Andrius comforting her. Lina approaches them, but Andrius tells her to go away, and Lina sees... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...a letter. Everyone crowds inside her shack to read it. At the gathering, Lina sees Andrius and has a short but polite conversation with him for the first time in weeks.... (full context)
Chapter 48
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...Elena rushes out of the shack to beg the other deportees for food for Jonas. Andrius comes to the shack and brings him a can of tomatoes and forces him to... (full context)
Chapter 49
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Elena asks Andrius to stay with Lina and Jonas. Andrius looks mad, and Lina tries to apologize for... (full context)
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Back in the shack, Andrius suddenly asks Lina to look at her drawings. He flips through them and sees a... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Lina begins to steal firewood for warmth. During one stealing session she runs into Andrius, relieved he is not a guard. She invites him and his mother to join the... (full context)
Chapter 51
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...deportees share bits of food they have been hoarding and stealing, including chocolate sent from Andrius and his mother. The bald man reveals he is Jewish, but doesn’t mind the Kucios... (full context)
Chapter 52
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...hard on Christmas Day. Elena gives Ulyushka a packet of cigarettes for Christmas. Lina gives Andrius a drawing of him, and Jonas gives him the oval stone that sparkled like jewelry,... (full context)
Chapter 53
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One day Andrius runs into Lina’s shack, saying that the NKVD are looking for her. Lina reveals she... (full context)
Chapter 55
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...he is going to report them for stealing food. They quickly grab what they can. Andrius helps carry the food back, and tells Lina she’s bleeding. He notices that she’s holding... (full context)
Chapter 56
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Lina tells Jonas to run ahead and tell Elena they’re safe while she tells Andrius she has stolen the file. She asks him to return the file once she has... (full context)
Chapter 57
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...Lina is angry that Ulyushka never shares food with them. Lina wonders what the word Andrius couldn’t read was, and worries about his safety in returning the file. However, she sees... (full context)
Chapter 58
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...paper and a pencil stub to draw with. On the way back to the shack, Andrius approaches Lina and gives her Dombey and Son, a Charles Dickens novel, as a birthday... (full context)
Chapter 60
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On the first warm day of spring, Andrius takes Lina aside and warns her that people are being moved, and that while he... (full context)
Chapter 61
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Andrius comes to the shack and speaks to Elena privately, and then asks to speak to... (full context)
Chapter 62
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...sent to America. The grouchy woman is on the list too, as are her daughters. Andrius comes to say goodbye, asking Jonas to write and saying that he’ll see Lina again... (full context)
Chapter 65
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...is skeptical and doesn’t want to leave her father behind in prison. She thinks of Andrius’ face when he told her about the list, and is fairly certain they aren’t going... (full context)
Chapter 75
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...Kostas, and this is the only time Elena can muster a smile. Lina dreams of Andrius at night. A storm is coming, but Ivanov won’t give them a ration, since he... (full context)
Chapter 76
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...survive until the polar night ends in March. On November 20, Lina remembers that it’s Andrius’ birthday. Lina wishes him a happy birthday to herself, and reads Dombey and Son. She... (full context)
Chapter 83
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...home soon, to give him some hope for the future. She gives Jonas the stone Andrius gave her as a source of strength. As the storm rages, Lina goes begging from... (full context)
Chapter 84
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...food, orders supplies for them, and stays for ten days. Lina gives him letters for Andrius, and the doctor expresses his doubt that Kostas is actually dead—he theorizes there is a... (full context)
Chapter 85
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...a sliver of gold on the horizon—sunlight. They have survived the winter. Lina thinks of Andrius and squeezes the stone, hoping she will see him again someday. (full context)
Epilogue
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...spoke of the deportations. Lina is the author of the letters, and she writes that Andrius is her husband—she is now Lina Arvydas. She writes that the papers include detailed descriptions... (full context)