Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 20 Summary & Analysis

The train passes farther south through the Ural Mountains. Miss Grybas says they have now passed into Asia, and passengers speculate that they are on course for southern Siberia, or even China or Mongolia. Ona refuses to let go of her baby, even though it begins to smell of rotting flesh. Eventually she agrees to throw it down the bathroom 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 him Russian slang words that the NKVD use and gives him his first cigarette. Elena tells Lina she is grateful that Jonas has Andrius as a friend and male role model, and to leave Andrius and Jonas alone. One day, however, Lina catches Jonas and Andrius using pages from her copy of The Pickwick Papers that her grandmother gave her to roll cigarettes. She is furious with both boys, even after they apologize.
The deportees have absolutely no idea where they are going, and at times it seems like the NKVD don’t know, either—they just keep traveling farther and farther away from everyone and everything they’ve ever known. The sense of death is all around them—particularly with the death of Ona’s baby. Though no one is happy with the way they must leave the child on the train tracks, they have no choice if they do not want to give it to the NKVD. The longer they are on the train, the longer things become tense between Lina and Andrius, particularly when he dares to damage a gift from her late Grandmother, and one of her only possessions on the train.
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