What are the conflicts faced by Esther in The Endless Steppe?

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martina-m eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Endless Steppe follows ten-year-old Esther Rudomin and the challenges she is forced to face at such a young age. It is a coming-of-age story that truly showcases Esther's strength and resilience.

Esther is in fact taken away from her home and is forced to endure a very difficult journey without knowing where she is being taken. She arrives, after many troubles, in a village in Siberia which is far from hospitable.

However, despite being only a little girl, she is inquisitive and rather brave. She confronts the Russian soldiers when they reach her house, demanding an explanation for her family's arrest. In other situations, she continues to ask questions, confronting some authority figures while also making new friends.

Esther remains inquisitive, curious, and brave throughout the novel. She fearlessly adapts to any situation and refuses to be subjugated, even during such a difficult time as World War II. At school, she studies hard and reads anything she can get her hands on, encouraged by her literature teacher; on top of that, she uses her knitting skills to get a job in order to earn more money for her family.

Esther is proud and determined and learns to have hope and be happy even in the face of adversities.

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The Endless Steppe

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