Identify the theme of the novel Milkweed.

Expert Answers info

Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write5,841 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

As with many books that send powerful messages to readers, Milkweed does not have a singular theme. Several themes can be pulled from this story. One main theme is the theme of identity. This is a fairly common theme in books about adolescence, but Milkweed is fairly overt about this theme. Misha is literally searching for identity through much of the book, because he doesn't know where he came from, who he is, or who his family is or was. Uri gives him an identity, and Misha soaks in every detail of the fictitious person. He is once again rebranded an identity in the United States, and seems to find true identity through his granddaughter.

A second major theme is the theme of survival. Again, this is a fairly common theme. What is different about Milkweed is the very real setting. It is taking place during the Holocaust, and people are forced to do anything, no matter how horrible, to stay alive. This is true for Misha, and his talents as a thief pay big dividends for his own survival as well as for the survival of other people.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial