Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray Chapter 39 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
While eating the potatoes Lina wonders 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 that they should be grateful for Andrius, even though he sneaks them food nearly every day. The next day, Elena and Lina are assigned to the beet fields. Lina realizes how difficult and brave it was for Miss Grybas to sneak them food.
Lina doesn’t understand what Mrs. Arvydas is being forced to do, and is unknowingly unkind to Andrius, who is extremely upset over the situation his mother has been put in by the NKVD. Lina realizes that Miss Grybas has risked her life to share food with them, even though she didn’t have to. In the face of danger, some deportees exhibit extreme courage and kindness.
Themes
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
Lina refuses to bring food to the bald 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, and Andrius asks Jonas if he can speak to Lina alone. Lina accuses him of working with the Soviets and spying on the Lithuanians, and Andrius tells her she has no idea what she’s talking about. Andrius reveals that his mother is being forced to sleep with the NKVD officers in exchange for their lives. Andrius calls Lina self-centered and spoiled and walks away.
Lina, fed up with the bald man’s crankiness, refuses to bring food to him. Unlike Elena, she does not have the maturity and wisdom to see that he needs help despite his rudeness. But also unlike Elena, Lina has the gumption to express her dislike for someone who has shown her nothing but disrespect. When Andrius reveals to Lina what his mother is forced to endure for their safety, she is disgusted with herself for jumping to conclusions about the integrity of Mrs. Arvydas’ moral character.
Themes
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon