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What is the most important symbol in The Devil's Arithmetic?

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marleyfarley | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2009 at 4:31 AM via web

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What is the most important symbol in The Devil's Arithmetic?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 27, 2009 at 6:15 AM (Answer #1)

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In my mind, the closet door is probably the most important symbol in Yolen's work.  The closet door is what Hannah must go towards to welcome Elijah during Passover Dinner.  The closet door is the portal by which Hannah must enter the past and become Chaya.  Given the fact that Hannah did not have much care for her heritage and ethnicity at the outset of the novel, the closet door represents a particular symbol that represents Hannah's moment where she is both active teenager who is concerned with traditionally adolescent aims, but also the instant where she becomes instantly connected with her identity.  The closet door is what allows the story in Yolen's work to develop.

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