Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lina makes note of how small the shack is: approximately ten feet by twelve feet. It is run-down and there is nowhere for the family to sleep or use the bathroom. Elena assures them that a little cleaning will spruce things up. Suddenly, a blond NKVD officer enters the hut and demands to see Elena. Elena insists Jonas and Lina come with her to the guard’s log building. Elena disappears inside while Jonas and Elena wait outside.
By the time they reach the labor camp, even Lina and Jonas are becoming wary of Elena’s optimism: it is hard to believe that anything can make this one-room shack feel remotely as comfortable as their home back in Kaunas. Still, one thing they can all agree on is how important it is for them all to stick together.
Themes
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
In a flashback, Lina remembers Elena briefly leaving a dress shop while Lina’s new dress is being tailored. Lina meets her mother outside, where Elena has gone to surprise Lina with ice cream. They sit and enjoy the ice cream and their day of shopping while Jonas and Kostas are at a soccer match. Lina reminds Elena that she also needs some charcoal for drawing.
This memory reminds Lina of how much she loves her mother, and how much she looks up to her. Their family is very close, but she has always had a special connection with Elena. Like Kostas, Elena supports Lina’s artwork wholeheartedly.
Themes
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
Back in the camp, Jonas frets that he and Lina should have followed Elena into the building. Lina peers through a window and sees Elena talking to the commander, who holds a file. Jonas urges Lina not to make trouble—or risk Ona’s fate. Lina wishes she could talk to Kostas to answer all her questions. She also wishes she could draw the landscape and show it to him. Elena returns, and the family heads back to the hut.
Jonas, who is only ten years old, has been greatly traumatized by the horrors he sees around him. In particular, he has been shocked by the deaths of children and the death of Ona. Ona was very young—close to Lina’s age—and a mother, like Elena. After he sees her die, he begins to fear for the women in his family even more.
Themes
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon