Under A Cruel Star Analysis

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Pages: 4

Section 2, Question 1
In Modris Eksteins’s Rites of Spring and in Heda Margolius Kovaly’s Under a Cruel Star, we can sense a change in identity brought about because of a change in how others perceive the returning soldiers Eksteins write about and how others perceive Kovaly, and the new roles which they have in society. Throughout each work we get an understanding of life as it was before, during, and after the war and though it might not seem like it, the experiences of the soldiers and the civilians in Eksteins’s work parallel the experiences that Kovaly had with her neighbors after her escape from the camps. In both works we can see that both the soldier coming home from the war and Kovaly escaping a murderous regime are ostracized by their
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Heda’s identity was in her Jewish tradition, her family, and her community be it Jewish or non-Jewish neighbors and piers. The ruling regime looked to alter the identification of the Jews and the non-Jewish citizens via atomization. This established an ‘other’, being the Jews, for the free people. When Heda escaped the death march and returned to Prague she finds a world al but cold to her. The fear of punishment by the Gestapo for anyone who helped her made her all but unable to do much of anything. As she went door to door searching for help the warmest greeting she was received were: “For God’s sake, what brings you here?”, or “So you’ve come back! Oh no! That’s all we needed!” Even after she is able to find some help and eventually fight to get the Germans out she is then ostracized again when her husband is convicted by the Soviets of being a spy. The events that follow parallel her experiences in Nazi occupied Prague and again she is seen left out in the cold without any help. Things get so bad as having to change her son’s last name since “children are forbidden to play with the son of a