Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

Family Photos Symbol Analysis

Family Photos Symbol Icon

Lina brings photos of her family among her meager possessions when she is deported, as do many of the other deportees. Images of family members give the deportees strength and comfort throughout the treachery of their journey. When they come together to celebrate Christmas, they share the photos and stories of their families. Though the NKVD seeks to break the spirits of the deportees by branding them criminals, starving them, and giving them no shelter or supplies, the photos remind them who they are living for and who they were before they were deported. The photos provide important memories of the humanity and good in the world that exists beyond the camp, thus giving the deportees something to live for beyond merely the sake of survival.

Family Photos Quotes in Between Shades of Gray

The Between Shades of Gray quotes below all refer to the symbol of Family Photos. 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 51 Quotes

I grabbed our family photo and stuffed it up my dress. I would hide it on the way to the kolkhoz office. Kretszky didn’t notice. He stood motionless, holding his rifle, staring at all the photographs.

Related Characters: Lina Vilkas (speaker), Nikolai Kretszky
Related Symbols: Family Photos
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
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Family Photos Symbol Timeline in Between Shades of Gray

The timeline below shows where the symbol Family Photos appears in Between Shades of Gray. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
...in town so that the NKVD does not target them as well. Lina packs a family photo , wishing that her Grandmother, pictured, were alive to be with her during this difficult... (full context)
Chapter 30
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Women and Mothers Theme Icon
Lina sorts through her belongings, and takes out the picture frame with the photo of her family . Elena sees it and expresses her happiness that Lina brought the photo. Lina sees... (full context)
Chapter 43
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
...that they will pay two cigarettes in exchange for a copy of a map and photograph. Lina volunteers, despite Elena’s warnings. Kretzsky will not let Elena accompany her. When Lina is... (full context)
Chapter 44
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Lina is given a map of Siberia and a photo of a family , with a black box around a man’s head. An officer gives Lina a nice... (full context)
Chapter 51
Morality, Integrity, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Strength and Identity Theme Icon
The Power of Art Theme Icon
Genocide Theme Icon
...try and intimidate them to sign the documents. Kretszky stands motionless, staring at all the photographs. (full context)