Sarah’s Key

Sarah’s Key

A young girl whom Sarah Starzynski befriends in the Beaune-la-Rolande internment camp. Rachel is fierce and brave, and Sarah is initially put off by Rachel’s intensity. Rachel proposes that she and Sarah try to escape the camp, and they do so successfully, but only because Sarah is able to persuade the policeman who apprehends them (the same policeman who used to work in Sarah’s neighborhood in Paris) to let them go. By the time Rachel and Sarah are discovered and cared for by Jules and Geneviève Dufaure, Rachel is extremely ill with dysentery. Rachel is ultimately captured and taken away by the Nazis. The sense of loss and helplessness she feels at Rachel’s arrest prompts Sarah to return to Paris in search of her brother, Michel.

Rachel Quotes in Sarah’s Key

The Sarah’s Key quotes below are all either spoken by Rachel or refer to Rachel . 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:
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the St. Martin’s Press edition of Sarah’s Key published in 2008.
Chapter 27 Quotes

She had grown up too much to be afraid anymore. She was no longer a baby. Her parents would be proud of her. That’s what she wanted them to be. Proud because she had escaped from that camp. Proud because she was going to Paris, to save her brother. Proud, because she wasn’t afraid.
She fell upon the tar with her teeth, gnawing at her mother’s minute stitches. Finally, the yellow piece of cloth fell away from the blouse. She looked at it. Big, black letters. JEW. She rolled it up in her hands.
“Doesn’t it look small, all of a sudden?” she said to Rachel.

Related Symbols: The Yellow Star
Page Number: 97-98
Explanation and Analysis:
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Rachel Character Timeline in Sarah’s Key

The timeline below shows where the character Rachel appears in Sarah’s Key. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 23
Identity Theme Icon
An older girl named Rachel, who is Sarah’s age, begins listening to Sarah’s nighttime stories. One evening Rachel approaches Sarah... (full context)
Chapter 25
Identity Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
Sarah has decided to attempt escape along with Rachel. She feels “as if all the evil, all the hatred in the world was concentrated... (full context)
Bravery Theme Icon
Rachel and Sarah don extra, protective layers of clothing and make their way toward the barbed-wire... (full context)
Chapter 27
Guilt Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
When they finally stop to rest, Rachel and Sarah remember the policeman’s parting words: “Take off your stars.” They both do so... (full context)
Chapter 29
Bravery Theme Icon
By the time Sarah and Rachel awaken, night has fallen. They continue to make their way through the forest, but have... (full context)
Chapter 31
Identity Theme Icon
Jules and Geneviève feed Rachel and Sarah, and Geneviève helps the girls to bathe. Geneviève sees blisters on Rachel’s body... (full context)
Remembrance and History Theme Icon
The Power of Silence Theme Icon
...her way downstairs to the kitchen, Sarah overhears Geneviève saying that she is worried about Rachel. Sarah enters the room and asks what has happened to the key and the money... (full context)
Identity Theme Icon
Before Geneviève can respond, Rachel lets out a scream from upstairs. Geneviève tells Jules that she thinks Rachel is suffering... (full context)
Chapter 33
Identity Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
Panicked, Jules and Geneviève try to move Rachel but ultimately leave her in her bed because she is too weak. They refuse to... (full context)
Chapter 35
Guilt Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
Bravery Theme Icon
The Limits of Love Theme Icon
The evening after Rachel’s capture, Sarah sleeps poorly, unable to take her mind off Michel. The next morning Sarah... (full context)