
The Devil's Arithmetic
Hannah is a spoiled Jewish girl with no sense of her own religion. She is selfcentered and dislikes many of her family members. Her world abruptly changes when she whisked back in time to...

The Devil's Arithmetic
The Devil’s Arithmetic is a comingofage story (otherwise known as a bildungsroman) in that the character of Hannah changes as she comes of age. Hannah begins the novel as an immature young girl...

The Devil's Arithmetic
A symbol is something that stands for something else. The opening of the door for Elijah, the bridal gown, and Rivka’s scarf are all symbols in The Devil’s Arithmetic. Hannah is the character who...

The Devil's Arithmetic
The most important events in The Devil’s Arithmetic are Hannah’s transportation to the past, and her experiences in the Holocaust. Hannah is just an ordinary American teenager who happens to be...

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...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
In the book, swallows are mentioned seven times. The swallows fly around the death camps as the smoke rises from the ovens. This is actually a disturbing image, but it highlights an important fact:...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Aaron’s smile is an example of foreshadowing, when an author hints at the future. During the reading of the four questions, Hannah’s little brother Aaron is nervous. He thinks he is going to...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic deals with the historical impact of the Holocaust within a modern setting. Initially, this story begins in present day New Rochelle, New York. It strikes me as...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
When an author uses foreshadowing, he or she is giving the reader a hint about what will happen later in the story. There are many examples of foreshadowing in The Devil’s Arithmetic. Many of...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Gitl is a wise, giving, compassionate, smart, brave, and determined character who gives many of the characters in The Devil’s Arithmetic hope, including Hannah. Gitl’s wisdom is often combined...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Following the example of Rivka, Chaya remembers the number on her arm by associating each digit with an idea. Chaya, whose number is J19724, says,"J for Jew. And 1 for me, alone. I am very,...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Hannah spends much of The Devil’s Arithmetic in the role of Chaya. The two characters have both similarities and differences. First, let us discuss the differences. Hannah is a girl from the...

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...

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...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Reuven and Tzipporah are the young children of Yitzchak the butcher. They are described as "two little blondhaired children, no more than three or four years old...silently holding hands". The...

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...

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...

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 upperclass Jewish occasions. As indicated in...

The Devil's Arithmetic
The blokova lost her third finger because of the escape attempt led by Shmuel and Yitzchak. Even though the attempt was a failure, the fact that it occurred at all showed that, in the twisted...

The Devil's Arithmetic
An allusion is a casual reference to a wellknown place,story, book, historical event or work of art. There are many literary and Biblical allusions in The Devil's Arithmetic. When Hannah first...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
The main conflict for this book is the Holocaust. It is the unfair and deplorable treatment of the Jewish people in Nazi Germany. They are sent to concentration camps and killed via gas chambers....

The Devil's Arithmetic
Hannah awakens from an exhausted sleep in Chapter 13 and finds that Baby Tzipporah has died. The new prisoners are ordered out of the barracks and given a meager meal of watery soup and hard...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
The rising action is everything after the exposition in a narrative up to its climax. If we accept that the climax of The Devil's Arithmetic is when Hannah, or Chaya, takes Rivka's place and dies,...

The Devil's Arithmetic
When Hannah gets transported to another time and place during the Seder, she meets Gitl and Schmuel. Gitl and Shmuel are brother and sister, and aunt and uncle to Chaya. Chaya is Hannah’s Hebrew...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
In speaking about the plot of The Devil’s Arithmetic (or any other literary work), we should speak about six specific things: exposition, inciting incident/conflict, rising action, climax, falling...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Hannah settles into the macabre routine at the camp, following the nonsensical rules  the "devil's arithmetic"  that Rivka has described and Gitl has named. So consumed by simply surviving each...

The Devil's Arithmetic
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...

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...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
They were assigned jobs that basically kept the concentration camp functioning. 1. Some cleaned the barracks, the guards' houses, the hospital, and the kitchen. 2. Some cut and hauled wood for...

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...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Certainly it is fascinating question to think about why any novel was given the name that it bears. There are two places in the novel that refer directly to the "devil's arithmetic" which explore...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Grandpa Will gets very upset when discussing the war or seeing Nazi soldiers on television because his experience as a prisoner in the concentration camp during World War II was as horrific as can...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Chapters 10 and 11 of The Devil’s Arithmetic are about the journey on the rail cars to the concentration camp. Yes, there is definitely dramatic irony involved. Dramatic irony occurs within a...

The Devil's Arithmetic
There are definitely both contrasts and contradictions contained in The Devil’s Arithmetic. A contrast is simply a presentation of two things that are different. On the other hand, a...

The Devil's Arithmetic
The answer to your question is actually fairly simple and steeped in Jewish culture (especially in reference to the Passover meal). It is a part of the Passover ritual to have the family open the...

The Devil's Arithmetic
There are two aspects of setting that can be discussed: setting of time and setting of place. In Chapters One and Two of The Devil’s Arithmetic, the setting of time is the present day. Because...

The Devil's Arithmetic
Shortly after all of the women arrive at the camp, they are tattooedd with a serial number as a method of accounting in the concentration camp. Chaya and the others are in complete shock over all...

The Devil's Arithmetic
It means Angel of Death.

The Devil's Arithmetic
Rivka and her family arrived at the concentration camp a year ago. Rivka was ten. They came as a family of eight, and now there are only two left. When Rivka meets the girls upon their arrival at...