Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 45 Summary & Analysis

Lina hurries back to the shack with the stolen pen and her payment of two cigarettes. Behind the NKVD barracks, Lina notices Mrs. Arvydas crying and Andrius comforting her. Lina approaches them, but Andrius tells her to go away, and Lina sees that Mrs. Arvydas has a wound on her face. Lina heads back to her own shack, and is struck by the number of horrors she has seen throughout her deportation. When Ulyushka tells her to sit down and be quiet, she yells at her and leaves the shack with pen and paper. Drawing calms her down. Elena returns from meeting the grouchy woman who has posted her letters. Soon, the NKVD round them up to sign papers. Elena expresses her relief that Lina has returned safely back after drawing for the NKVD. Lina thinks that she was safe, but only in the arms of hell.
Lina feels badly for having suggested that Andrius and his mother were voluntarily consorting with the NKVD. Even though they live more comfortably than the rest of the deportees, it comes at a very high price, as evidenced by the gash on Mrs. Arvydas face. Unlike the other deportees, Andrius and Mrs. Arvydas only have each other, whereas Elena, Lina, and Jonas have forged a network of friends who become like family, and who implicitly agree to help each other survive in the camps. Lina is grateful she has stolen the pen, since she can now draw better and more accurate representations of her time in the camp.
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In a flashback, Lina recalls Jonas noting that a classmate was sent to the principal for mentioning hell. Kostas asks Jonas why the friend had mentioned hell, and Jonas replies that he was repeating something his father had said: that if Stalin came to Lithuania, that’s where they would all end up.
Though the horrors of the camps are a new low for the Soviet Union, it’s well known that Stalin has been committing atrocities across the Baltic States for some time now.
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