What are two statements of conflict in The Devil's Arithmetic?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In my mind, one of the fundamental statement of conflict rests with Hannah in the outset of the story.  From being a typical adolescent teen that is concerned with social avenues and "blending in," she must wrestle with her own identity of being Jewish.  How she is able to address both becomes one of the first conflicts we see.  The disdain which she possesses for the Seder traditions on the High Holy Days is quite evident and her internal dilemma between what she initially wants to do against what she is supposed to do represents one conflict.  The second conflict is her attempt to stay alive as she feels the realities of life of being Jewish at the time of the Nazis.  In this conflict, she no longer can deny her identity as being Jewish, and the condition of survival constitutes a conflict between what her own desires are and the societal demands of the time.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In the book The Devil's Arithmetic, Hannah opens a door and finds herself suddenly sent back in time to a polish village where the Nazis have arrived.  On the day of a cousin's wedding the soldiers come and load them into trucks and take them to the trains and send them to concentration camps.

The first conflict with the Nazis occurred on page 65 when the rabbi was told that they would have to accompany the soldiers.

"He spoke gently.”They insist that we go with them in those trucks."(65)

Another conflict occurs when they are all ordered to undress for the showers.  Hannah knows about the showers sometimes being gas showers instead of ones to wash in.  She becomes afraid when they are told to take all of their clothing off.  She stars talking about the showers.

"Now, all of you undress. Schnell!"(90) a guards words.

 

 

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