Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 31 Summary & Analysis

The Altain woman begins to cook herself potatoes. When the family asks her how they can get food, they are told they must work. Elena must pay the woman for one potato, and then again to be allowed to cook it. The woman falls asleep on the bed of straw, and Lina wonders what her life has been like in Siberia.
Though sleeping in the shack is much better than living in the squalor of the train, Lina is continually in disbelief about how horrible her life has become. Having grown up in a comfortable home, she can’t understand how someone could live this way her entire life.
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In a flashback, Lina remembers receiving her acceptance letter for the art school in Vilnius. Kostas and Elena are elated on her behalf, and Lina can’t wait to tell Joana. The family has a cake waiting for her, having been sure she would receive good news. Kostas tells Lina that she is blessed with a gift, and has great things ahead of her. Back in the shack, Lina hears a rustling and sees the woman pee into a tin can.
This memory reminds Lina of the loving home and family she used to be a part of. Everyone in her family is confident and supportive of her artistic skills. They have no doubt in her ability, and express this often. This is in sharp contrast to the cold, merciless world in which she is living now.
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