What are the physical appearances of Daniel and Erika in Daniel's Story by Carol Matas?

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Narrator Daniel describes the appearance of himself and his sister Erika very early on in the book and during much happier times.

On page 4, he states that one of his photos in his photo album shows him as a six-year-old "with pudgy cheeks and thick black wavy hair." In...

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Narrator Daniel describes the appearance of himself and his sister Erika very early on in the book and during much happier times.

On page 4, he states that one of his photos in his photo album shows him as a six-year-old "with pudgy cheeks and thick black wavy hair." In another picture on page 16, he describes his sister, two years younger than him, as a "little mouse."

She had brown wavy hair and brown eyes and a little nose that she would rub when she was worried.

Since he has black hair, we could probably assume Daniel has brown eyes like his sister.

The only other time Daniel describes either of their appearances is at the concentration camp on page 63 when he mentions Erika is "skin and bones." This suggests that their appearances are too hard to talk about. Even before they were sent to Lodz, he may have found it difficult to talk about what he and his family looked like while they their appearances, as well as culture, were being severely parodied and criticized.

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In Daniel's Story the descriptions are not elaborate nor are they joined to the introduction of a character. The descriptions are more psychological than physical. However, Daniel does briefly describe himself in Chapter 1 by describing some old pictures. When he was six, he had "pudgy cheeks," which means that as he has grown older, he will have a well-built physique, not a slight one nor a rotund one. He also describes his "thick black wavy hair," which will not have changes over time as sometimes will happen with blonds whose hair may darken.

 

In the same section he describes his sister Erika as being two years younger and slightly introspective as well as musically inclined. She is introspective because while on the train ride to some unknown infamy, she sits humming a tune. Daniel associates her humming with a new composition she is mentally developing for her violin. To find the descriptions of the other main characters, look for brief remarks and for tell-tale passages, like this one about Erika, that give psychological information.

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