Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

A man on the truck, who worked for the bank, gives Elena his jacket to keep the woman warm. She tells Elena her name is Ona, and that her husband, Vitas, was taken by the NKVD. Ona wails for her baby, while the bald man cries of the pain in his leg. No one on the truck has medical training, but they all chip in supplies to create a splint for the man’s leg. When Jonas offers up his tiny school ruler, an old woman begins to cry. The bald man starts yelling for someone to kill him, while Ona’s hospital gown becomes soaked with blood. Feeling nauseous, Lina pictures her grandmother for comfort. The truck arrives at a small train depot in the countryside, where a lot of other trucks are stationed as well. People yell from the trucks, searching for missing family members. Elena theorizes that they are going to be sorted by family, but sounds uncertain.
In general, women, the young, and the infirm are being separated from men, who will presumably be put to work. Like when Jonas dressed for school instead of packing to leave indefinitely, his offering of his tiny ruler to make a splint for the man shows his innocence—there is no way he has committed a crime worthy of this punishment. This act, accompanied by the wailing of the baby and Ona’s bleeding, shows the extent of the inhumanity the NKVD has shown to these civilians in only a few hours. Though Elena is optimistic, Lina is wary of what is to come.
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