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Who does the group meet on the way to Viosk in The Devil's Arithmetic?Name 2 - 3...

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cherryrocks | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 18, 2009 at 7:44 AM via web

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Who does the group meet on the way to Viosk in The Devil's Arithmetic?

Name 2 - 3 groups or individuals.

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dymatsuoka | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 27, 2009 at 5:28 AM (Answer #1)

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"Half the shtetel" gathers outside Shmuel and Gitl's house for the trip to Viosk.  Just before the journey begins, Hannah meets four girls of her own age, Rachel, Shifre, Esther, and Yente.  Hannah is delighted to have found the company of other girls like herself, and entertains them as they walk through the woods behind the wagons with stories from memories of her life in New Rochelle.  The girls in turn acquaint her with the characters who will be involved in the wedding preparations and ceremony (Chapter 6).

After they have walked for a long time, Hannah hears "a high, thin, musical wail".  The group is being met by a "klezmer band" hired by the bride's father and made up of a clarinetist, a violinist, and an accordianist.  As the band plays, the men, led by the groom Shmuel, start to dance "with abandon", while the women, standing along the side, begin to sing.  Hannah is surprised to realize that she knows the song they are singing.

Close behind the band comes a badchan, a "tall, skinny man" who circulates among the people, composing rhymes about them and making them laugh.  He has been hired to entertain and tell fortunes, and he reminds Hannah of a Jewish court jester (Chapter 7).

Finally, in the midst of the festivities, the bride, Fayge, and her father arrive in a wagon drawn by two strong horses.  Fayge is dressed "all in white, with an elegantly beaded headdress capping her hair", which is jet black and "electric with curls".  Fayge has an imposing look, but when she meets her, Hannah discovers that her manner is almost shy (Chapter 8).

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