How does Uri positively influence Misha?

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I am always fascinated by the character of Uri each time I read Milkweed because, yes, Uri does certainly influence Misha in a positive way even in the midst of the Holocaust.

Uri's positive role is defined by his actions as father-figure to a group of boys, including Misha.  In...

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I am always fascinated by the character of Uri each time I read Milkweed because, yes, Uri does certainly influence Misha in a positive way even in the midst of the Holocaust.

Uri's positive role is defined by his actions as father-figure to a group of boys, including Misha.  In fact, the boys are dependent upon Uri for their survival.  Uri is confident not only in how to be a father but how to take care of his little charges.  Uri's main desire is to protect the boys from the truths behind the Holocaust.

Uri's role as father-figure with Misha, though, is particularly intricate.  Not only does Uri give Misha an identity to cling to but also protects him from reality.  One of the ways Uri protects Misha is by dismissing Misha's questions and/or speaking in a very evasive and general way.  In this way, Uri protects Misha from the arrival of the Nazis to their specific area as well as from the action of the Jews being moved to the ghettos.  This serves as protection of innocence for the character of Misha.

Therefore, as you can see, by being a positive father-figure for Misha, Uri certainly does positively influence Misha. Uri does this by protecting Misha's innocence throughout the story.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team