Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

A young woman who is thrown onto the train car just moments after giving birth. Her newborn child dies on the train, and Ona goes crazy with grief. She attacks an officer who tries to control her in her anguish, and she is promptly shot in the head and left to die in the grass alongside the train tracks.

Ona Quotes in Between Shades of Gray

The Between Shades of Gray quotes below are all either spoken by Ona or refer to Ona. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Speak edition of Between Shades of Gray published in 2012.
Chapter 4 Quotes

The truck stopped in front of the hospital. Everyone seemed relieved that they would tend to the bald man’s injuries. But they did not. They were waiting. A woman who was also on the list was giving birth to a baby. As soon as the umbilical cord was cut, they would both be thrown into the truck.

Related Characters: Lina Vilkas (speaker), Mr. Stalas (The Bald Man), Ona
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Ona Character Timeline in Between Shades of Gray

The timeline below shows where the character Ona appears in Between Shades of Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...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,... (full context)
Chapter 7
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...the passengers off the truck. When the man from the bank demands medical assistance for Ona and the bald man, he is marched away at gunpoint without his luggage. A woman... (full context)
Chapter 8
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...to have been built for livestock. Lina doesn’t want to be in a car with Ona and her baby and the moaning bald man, but Elena tells her they don’t have... (full context)
Chapter 10
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...them together, much like Elena had to bribe the officer to keep Jonas with her. Ona’s baby cries continually, and Mrs. Rimas reports that the baby cannot latch onto Ona’s breast... (full context)
Chapter 13
Genocide Theme Icon
...package from Elena’s cousin Regina, and Elena splits the food inside among the other passengers. Ona’s baby refuses to eat, and both mother and child continually cry. Elena asks Lina how... (full context)
Chapter 17
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...indicating her whereabouts, and pass it along in the hopes it reaches her father. Meanwhile, Ona’s baby continues not to feed, partly due to Ona’s own dehydration. (full context)
Chapter 18
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...has invaded Lithuania, news that boosts the morale of the passengers. People sing and hug. Ona is quiet—her baby, unable to eat, has died. (full context)
Chapter 19
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
The train with the Russian soldiers rolls away. Ona screams in anguish over the death of her child, but the bald man rudely tells... (full context)
Chapter 20
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...passengers speculate that they are on course for southern Siberia, or even China or Mongolia. Ona refuses to let go of her baby, even though it begins to smell of rotting... (full context)
Chapter 25
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...Elena tells Lina they are discussing their families back home, but Lina doesn’t believe her. Ona is still grieving for her dead daughter and rocks back and forth, chanting “No.” Elena... (full context)
Chapter 26
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...sick, dirty, and violated. Elena yells at the guard in Russian and pulls Lina behind Ona, who is still caked in blood from her rushed delivery. The guards scream at Elena... (full context)
Chapter 27
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...toss soap at the women and spray them with icy water. Elena helps Lina and Ona wash. Then they leave the bathhouse and get dressed. Lina whispers to Elena that she... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...cleansed, and they joke about the luxuries they now want, like a four-course meal. Only Ona has not been calmed, and she continues to chant and pull at her hair, despite... (full context)
Chapter 29
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...to the commander, who holds a file. Jonas urges Lina not to make trouble—or risk Ona’s fate. Lina wishes she could talk to Kostas to answer all her questions. She also... (full context)