What is the main topic about The Endless Steppe?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

I would argue that the main topic of the story is the effect that political events, especially the redrawing of national boundaries, has on individuals and their families. In The Endless Steppe the Rudomins have been forcibly uprooted from their home in Poland as part of the infamous Nazi–Soviet Pact between Hitler and Stalin. They are then forced to endure a long, hard, and brutal journey to the inhospitable steppes of Siberia.

As part of the notorious secret protocols of the pact, Poland was carved up between the two dictators along with Romania, Finland, and the Baltic states. The Endless Steppe shows us the often harrowing human stories behind such momentous historical events. Specifically, it reminds us of how ordinary civilians invariably find themselves caught up in terrifying situations not of their own making. Even in so-called peacetime the lives of innocent people can be utterly ruined by the actions of those who govern them. Without any help or support from the authorities, such people need to dig deep and somehow find the strength and courage to carry on. And that's precisely what the Rudomins must do in The Endless Steppe.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

"THe Endless Steppe" is set against a background of poverty, persecution, and adversity, yet Esther and her family find a way to live. I think the main topic in "The Endless Steppe" is the srenght of Esther and her family, and how they look inside themselves to find the ability to not only survive, but to lead their lives day to day. "The Endless Steppe" shows how Esther grows with hope and pride during her time in Siberia.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial