Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray


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Between Shades of Gray: Chapter 64 Summary & Analysis

As the train moves on, the sick girl—who appears very yellow—becomes sicker, and coughs up blood on Jonas. Elena rips off Jonas’ shirt and throws it down the bathroom hole, even though they are all breathing the same air as the girl. A tall man on the train, who often repeats his words, talks frequently about them going to America. In the middle of the night, Janina wakes Lina up and tells her the yellow girl is dead. The next day, guards drag her body off the train and shoot her mother when she tries to jump out after her daughter.
Like on the previous train journey, the NKVD expect and prepare for many deaths. And, similarly to the way Ona was treated, the NKVD seek to murder anyone who mourns the dead. The “yellow girl” likely has jaundice, just one of many medical conditions that could easily be treated if doctors were available. Jonas must once again witness the horrors of children his own age dying preventable deaths.
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The food that Ulyushka gave the family keeps them alive on the train, and they share it with others as well. Lina draws to pass the time. Janina asks the bald man if he is a Jew, and if Hitler might kill the Jews. The bald man retorts that Hitler is killing the Jews, and that he’s using them as a scapegoat for all of Germany’s problems. He also thinks that the U.S. may already be allied with the Soviets.
The bald man, though rude and tactless, is often wiser about the true nature of World War II’s politics than are the rest of the deportees. Indeed, the Soviet Union and the U.S. formed an alliance during World War II against Hitler. Unfortunately for the deportees, though, this means the U.S. is not searching for the lost Lithuanians.
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