Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Lina stops keeping track as to how long she has been traveling. Every day, more dead bodies are thrown from the car. She wonders if they will be buried, or if the people who find them really will believe they are thieves and prostitutes. Small bits of goodness mark the travel, such as when Elena bribes a guard to let her leave the train to go to a kiosk. She buys all the candy, matches, and cigarettes she can and gives them to the passengers. The bald man 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 is a ring, calling herself the “train car princess” and making everyone laugh. Lina notes that Andrius is handsome when he smiles.
Despite the fact that they are treated like animals, the deportees find small ways to remind themselves that they are human and deserving of happiness. Elena treats the whole train car to a feast of kiosk goodies, even though no one would have faulted her for saving her money or keeping all she bought for herself. Elena’s loving kindness extends not just to her own children, but for anyone who needs to feel some warmth and happiness. Lina starts to experience normal teenage romantic feelings—but in a very abnormal situation.
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Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
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