The Devil's Arithmetic Questions and Answers

The Devil's Arithmetic

The story doesn't take place in only one location. In the present time, the story takes place where Hannah lives, in New Rochelle, NY and when she travels to the Bronx in NYC for Seder. However,...

Latest answer posted August 5, 2009 10:58 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The Devil's Arithmetic begins with Hannah and her mother and then quickly introduces Hannah's brother and father as well. Hannah's mother is concerned with the preservation of their Jewish...

Latest answer posted May 28, 2021 4:06 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

I would say that the concept of the "devil's arithmetic" is used in two specific ways in Yolen's work. One way in which the concept is used is to explain how survival is possible in the camp. For...

Latest answer posted December 29, 2010 12:47 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Hannah Stern's entire journey through the past leads her to better understand her family, her heritage, and herself. But, to get a little more specific, there are several key events in The Devil's...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2018 11:55 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In the course of this great novel, Hannah gains first-hand knowledge of the horrors that her family went through during the Holocaust and comes to appreciate the importance of the rituals in which...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2020 10:32 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Actually Hannah does not die in The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen. Chaya is the one who perishes. Hannah is a young girl in modern times who is mysteriously taken back to war torn Europe during...

Latest answer posted November 5, 2015 8:59 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic, Yitzchak is a village butcher. He is captured by the Nazis in 1942 along with Chaya (Hannah) and her family and taken to a concentration camp. Yitzchak is...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2021 7:48 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil's Arithmetic

The literary term you're referring to is called foreshadowing. Foreshadowing occurs when an author hints at events that are to come. Authors use this technique to build suspense. Think of them like...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2017 3:07 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In chapter 13 of the novel, Hannah notices in the sky above her "a quartet of swallows ... twittering madly." In chapter 18, she notices them again and is momentarily transfixed by them. She...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2021 11:22 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

This is a powerful little novel about the horrors of the Holocaust in 1942 Poland, and there are many possible themes to discuss, but two that I think are especially important and which ultimately...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2011 4:23 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The Devil's Arithmetic is the story of Hannah Stern. Hannah is a twelve year old and wants nothing to do with the past. Hannah is on her way with her parents and brother, to her grandparents house...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2015 3:51 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

At the beginning of the novel, The Devil's Arithmetic, Hannah Stern is ambivalent about attending Passover Seder dinner at Grandma Belle and Grandpa Will's house. Hannah's father is the son of...

Latest answer posted August 18, 2015 3:41 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Hannah is a young Jewish girl in New York who is embarrassed by her Jewish heritage. During a Seder dinner, Hannah is sent through space and time to 1942 Poland where she embodies an ancestor who...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2019 9:23 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The badchan’s “quick observation” that you speak of is incredibly insightful. A badchan is a sort of hired comic or court jester who entertains at upper-class Jewish occasions. As indicated in...

Latest answer posted May 27, 2016 6:20 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

You can find a free chapter-by-chapter summary of "The Devil's Arithmetic" right here on eNotes. Please follow the link below for more information.

Latest answer posted July 16, 2009 3:33 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Without a specific location in the story, this question is wide open because Hannah faces far more than a single problem over the course of the novel. An initial problem in Hannah's mind is her...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2019 5:54 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In regards to the story, setting can also refer to the immediate surroundings, social/cultural circumstances, and historical period. In Chapters One and Two, we learn that Hannah Stern is part of a...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2017 1:28 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

First, Gitl is selfless. Instead of focusing on her own needs after the Holocaust ends, she starts a rescue mission for girls in Israel. Second, Gitl is motherly. From the moment she and Hannah...

Latest answer posted August 27, 2019 8:09 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

As stated above, foreshadowing can be anything that gives a hint that something will happen later in a story. There are many examples of this throughout The Devil's Arithmetic. When Hannah goes...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2018 5:33 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

To answer this question you might find it helpful to compare Hannah at the beginning of the story with Hannah at the end, after she has had her experience of what the reality of concentration camps...

Latest answer posted February 4, 2011 9:09 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The Passover seder at the start of the book represents freedom, the moon represents the continuity of the universe from one generation to another and numbers represent people exterminated during...

Latest answer posted June 23, 2020 4:43 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In The Devil's Arithmetic, Hannah Stern, a girl who is bored by stories of the Holocaust, is transported back into the midst of it. She finds herself in 1942 on the border between Poland and...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2021 12:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil's Arithmetic

Although the Nazis are in overall control of the concentration camp, they put Jewish prisoners in charge of individual blocks to make life easier for themselves. It's an onerous position of...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2019 7:02 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The obvious major conflict of The Devil's Arithmetic is the Holocaust. Through the story, the protagonist, Hannah, finds herself transported into a period when the Nazi government was...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2019 4:55 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

I think that one of the most pointed and specific lessons that Hannah learns as a result of her experience is not take her ancestry for granted. At the start of the novel, Hannah shows little...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2011 7:02 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The idea that Hannah becomes a different person in the past, as opposed to her dreaming about life back then, is central to The Devil’s Arithmetic. Through identifying with another person who...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2019 11:44 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

I would describe Hannah as a character who changes during the course of this coming-of-age novel. Hannah does, however, have one trait that remains: her stubbornness. At the beginning, Hannah is...

Latest answer posted May 26, 2016 9:55 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

At the end of chapter 17, Hannah and Gitl are back in the prisoner camp because their escape attempt has been foiled. During roll call the next morning, six men in chains are marched out before...

Latest answer posted January 10, 2013 12:11 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Reuven and Tzipporah are the young children of Yitzchak the butcher. They are described as "two little blond-haired children, no more than three or four years old...silently holding hands". The...

Latest answer posted May 7, 2009 12:19 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

These are the rules Rivka shares to help the others stay alive at the camp one day at a time. It is of utmost importance that each prisoner remember his or her own number, and to learn to read the...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2010 2:46 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

A simile is “a figure of speech in which two things, essentially different but thought to be alike in one or more respects, are compared using “like,” “as,” “as if,” or “such” for the purpose of...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2016 4:57 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In the novel, The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, Chaya is the girl Hannah becomes when she is transported in time back into World War II and the Holocaust. In modern time, Hannah does not...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2012 12:03 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Some allusions in The Devil's Arithmetic include one that is introduced in the very title of the book and is repeated throughout the story. It is the allusion to the Nazi’s arithmetic—or systematic...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2020 3:00 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In my edition of "Devil's Arithmetic", there is only an Epilogue remaining after Chapter 19, which is briefly summarized in the last link referenced below. (The edition I am using is the...

Latest answer posted August 23, 2008 1:22 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

When looking for dramatic irony, it's important to first understand the different types of irony. Keep in mind that writers use irony to imply the opposite of what is suggested. The three types of...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2018 9:54 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In chapter 13 of "The Devil's Arithmetic" Hanna wakes up sore and tired. She crawls out of a wooden bunk and hears the horn which will awaken them everyday. A German soldier comes in...

Latest answer posted December 8, 2008 10:11 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

The story begins in the present on the first day of Passover in America. Hannah, a twelve year old girl, is complaining to her mother about having to attend the Seder dinner at the home of her...

Latest answer posted May 10, 2011 8:21 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Gitl tells Chaya that there is a plan to escape. Yitzchak and Shmuel are a part of it, as will Chaya be, because she is their "only flesh and blood." Gitl makes Chaya promise that if something...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2010 12:10 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

I would have to say that the one of the most important events from the plot is near the end of the novel when the guard shows up looking for three more Jews to take to the ovens. Rivka is one of...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2011 4:07 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil's Arithmetic

Hannah and the wedding group have been placed on a train by the Nazi's. They travel four days and nights. During the day the cars are hot and smell of sweat, urine, and feces. During the night,...

Latest answer posted May 23, 2012 2:11 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil's Arithmetic

In The Devil's Arithmetic, Hannah is celebrating with her family in modern-day New York when she opens the door and is transported back to the 1940s. At this moment in the story, Chaya and Hannah...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2018 3:06 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

There is a definite connection between the beginning and the end of the book. In the beginning of the book, Hannah is a normal teenager going off to a family holiday called Passover. She doesn't...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2013 11:08 pm UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil's Arithmetic

Yitzchak is one of the male villagers taken with Chaya/Hannah to the concentration camp by the Nazis in 1942. The simple answer to your question is that, according to Chapter 19, Yitzchack moves...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2016 9:52 am UTC

1 educator answer

The Devil's Arithmetic

In addition to the theme of remembering one's heritage and the atrocities that humans have committed in the past, another poignant theme of The Devil's Arithmetic is recognizing the heroism of the...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2018 3:39 pm UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Chapter 1 takes place in a contemporary setting, as thirteen-year-old Hannah is riding with her family to her grandparents' house in the Bronx to celebrate the Jewish feast of Seder. She is not...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2008 6:56 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Chapter 15 opens with a warning that the Commandant is coming. The women in the camp make "a penetrating clucking noise" in response, and the children of the camp, who are not supposed to be...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2009 8:27 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Fayge's story of the werewolf's heart full of pain is b. meant to tell of the earth's wickedness and her pain at the loss of her father.Fayge, who is maintaining only a tenuous hold on reality...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2008 9:01 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

At the Passover meal, Hannah is given the honor of opening the door for the prophet Elijah. This is her reward for showing generosity by pouring all of her wine into the ceremonial Cup of Elijah...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2018 7:08 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

In chapter 14, Hannah explains to Shifre and Rivka that whenever Commander Breuer comes to inspect the camp, all the children under fourteen years of age have to disappear. Children under fourteen...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2021 11:24 am UTC

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The Devil's Arithmetic

Chapter 11 describes the trip to the concentration camp in the boxcars. Chapter 12 describes how they are treated when they get there. Hannah and the others from the village have been stuffed into...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2013 7:34 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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