Between Shades Of Gray Theme Analysis

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The Will to Live : A Look at the Theme of Survival in the Novel Between Shades of Gray A human’s will to survive has always been a natural instinct since the moment people walked the earth. Living day to day can be a harsh struggle or painless, but only the people who are the strongest will survive. In the novel Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys the theme of survival is shown when looking at the characters of Lina, Elena and Andrius. At separate points within the novel Lina, Elena, and Andrius, all demonstrate their will to survive. For Lina this will to survive is shown by doing whatever it takes to feed her and her family such as not drawing the snakes she wants to draw on the NKVD officer. Furthermore she is forced to eat an owl in…show more content…
Each of these characters shows their will to survive in their own ways throughout the novel. For example, Lina is forced to draw the NKVD officer attractively and smuggle an owl for her and her family’s survival. She goes against what her favourite artist showed her to draw like and shows her will to survive by hiding a dead bird in her jacket. On the other hand, her mother Elena shows her will to survive in another form. Elena firstly trades her father’s pocket watch to bribe the NKVD officer to not take her son. She also trades wedding gifts for mail and other sundries in hope to help her and her family survive one more day. Finally, Andrius abuses his close relationship with the NKVD in order to obtain food to help himself and others to survive. He also helps Lina survive by returning her file which could have gotten her killed. As these characters survive they are constantly being broken by the NKVD, the environment, and the lack of nutrition. Such suffering ultimately builds up these characters and ends up showing their will to survive. The will to survive comes from within. It is the deciding factor that shapes whether or not people will be
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