How Old Is Hannah In The Devil’S Arithmetic? (Best solution)

As THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC begins, 13-year-old Hannah detests attending her family Seder. All the talk about remembering the Holocaust bores her until she finds herself transported to a Polish shtetl in 1942.

Who is Hannah in The Devil’s Arithmetic?

Rivka is a young, ten year old girl, who Hannah/Chaya befriends in the camp. Rivka is smart and calculating. she has every intention of surviving the horror.

What year did Hannah end up in Devil’s Arithmetic?

Protagonist. Hannah/Chaya is the young protagonist of the novel. A contemporary American Jewish girl, Hannah is sent back in time to shtetl in Poland in 1941, where she is referred to as Chaya. She experiences the abduction of the village’s Jews, who are all brought to a concentration camp by Nazis.

Where does Hannah live in Devil’s Arithmetic?

Hannah Stern is a young Jewish girl living in New Rochelle, NY. She and her family, including her parents and younger brother Aaron, are to attend a Passover Seder at her grandparent’s home. Hannah has no interest in attending.

How is grandpa Dan related to Hannah in The Devil’s Arithmetic?

Grandpa Dan is Hannah and Aaron’s grandfather on their mother’s side.

How does Hannah save Rivka?

Rivka hands out bowls to the newcomers. She is resourceful and intelligent, quickly discerning how she may improve her chances of surviving day to day. Though younger than Hannah, she takes Hannah under her wing and shows her the ways of the camp. Hannah repays this kindness by sacrificing herself to save Rivka.

What does GITL call the Devil’s Arithmetic?

Gitl calls the whole system “the Devil’s Arithmetic.” During a conversation with Shifre about their favorite foods, Hannah realizes that she remembers very little now about her life before coming to the camp.

Who is Fayge in Devil’s Arithmetic?

Fayge is Shmuel’s fiance, and the daughter of Rabbi Boruch. She is executed alongside Smuel after the attempted escape from the concentration camp.

How is Aunt Eva related to grandpa will?

How is Aunt Eva related to Grandpa Will? They are brother and sister.

How old is the protagonist in The Devil’s Arithmetic?

Twelve-year-old Hannah Stern, the protagonist of The Devil’s Arithmetic, undergoes a remarkable journey and transformation through the course of the novel.

What year has Hannah been transported to?

Soon, Hannah is “loaded” when Eva asks her to open the door to allow the entrance of Elijah the Prophet, a standard ritual. However, once Hannah opens the front door she is “transported” to 1940’s Poland.

Is The Devil’s Arithmetic for kids?

This time-travel story, an excellent introduction to the Holocaust, has great power for young readers.

Where is grandpa will and Grandma Belle’s apartment?

They will be expecting the whole family to be there, so Hannah has no choice but to go. Grandpa Will and Grandma Belle live in the Bronx, which is not particularly far from the Sterns’ home in New Rochelle.

What has grandpa will so upset?

What has Grandpa Will so upset? Grandpa will was so upset because he is watching a television newscast showing footage of the Holocaust. Hannah saw the number on grandpa will’s arm so one day she got a ballpoint pen and wrote numbers on her wrist really hard to resemble his concentration camp tattoo.

The Devil’s Arithmetic Characters

The main character in the tale is called the protagonist. Hannah is a little Jewish girl who lives with her family in the New Rochelle, New York, area. She is devoutly religious. She is uninterested in, if not ashamed by, her Jewish ancestry and family, and she has no desire to learn more. During a Seder supper, she is unexpectedly taken to Poland in 1942, where she lives the life of a distant aunt of hers, Chaya Abramowicz, who sacrifices herself in order to save Rivka’s daughter. In the course of this process, Hannah begins to understand and respect her own and her family’s past.

Aaron is a child of innocence and naiveté.

One of the survivors of the Holocaust who, on occasion, causes his family some distress by rambling on about his experiences.

Hannah begins to feel intimidated and humiliated by him as time goes on.

  1. Hannah’s grandma, as well as the wife of Hannah’s grandfather, Will.
  2. She is Gitl’s sister, and he is also Fayge’s fiance-to-be.
  3. Shmuel is a strong man who puts on a brave front when confronted by Nazi soldiers while spearheading an escape attempt from the concentration camp.
  4. a sister of Shmuel’s and an aunt of Chaya Gitl is a realistic and determined individual.
  5. After surviving the Holocaust, Gitl relocated to Israel where he established an organization to assist Holocaust survivors in reconnecting with their family members.
  6. Gitl has no interest in the butcher who is hoping to marry her, despite the fact that she is interested in him.
  7. He is the sole prisoner to successfully escape during a jail break attempt, and he goes on to join a resistance movement to fight the Nazis.

Hanna’s favorite aunt is Hannah’s father’s sister, as well as her favorite cousin.

Aunt Eva has a subtle melancholy about her that I find endearing.

In the end, it is discovered that Aunt Eva and Rivka are the same individual.

Rachel dies before she can make it to the camp, causing Hannah a tremendous deal of shame and sadness.

She succumbs to her injuries at the camp.

She succumbs to her injuries at the camp.

She is referred to as “the Cossack.” She succumbs to her injuries at the camp.

The villagers are taken away by the Nazis and he serves as spiritual and communal leader in their time of need.

When he is selected for execution in the camp, he meets his end there as well.

Rivka welcomes the guests by handing out bowls.

A seasoned camper, she takes Hannah under her wing and instructs her on how to navigate camp life.

When Hannah returns to New Rochelle in the present, she discovers that Rivka and Aunt Eva are the same person, as she suspected.

She discovers that Chaya is a distant relative from her own family.

Her aunt and uncle, Gitl and Shmuel Abramowicz, take her in and raise her as their own.

After learning that she was named after Chaya and that she and Chaya have a strong likeness, Hannah decides to pursue the truth.

He has been promoted to the rank of Unterkommando.

He becomes more reclusive and silent, and he and Rivka have little interaction with the other campers.

A prison camp girl who is responsible for obtaining medicine and first aid supplies for the detainees.

His trips to the camp are always greeted with trepidation by the inmates, who are aware that he may select some of them for execution.

Ultimately, he represents the very inhumanity that the Third Reich’s “Final Solution” came to symbolize.

Leye is also in charge of the kitchen crew, which she supervises.

Tziporrah is the name of Reuven’s sister.

Reuven is apprehended and brought away by Commandant Breuer, despite Hannah’s efforts to interfere, which endangers her own life.

Tziporrah succumbs to her injuries shortly after arriving at the camp.

A comic or jester was first employed to provide entertainment for the guests at Shmuel and Fayge’s wedding reception.

When the villagers are taken away, he predicts that the Nazi officer who escorts them away will not be trusted. In spite of the fact that doing so may put his life in danger, he routinely expresses himself. After being selected for death, he perishes in the camp where he was held.

The Devil’s Arithmetic Characters –

The eNotes Editorial team last updated this page on May 5, 2015. 871 words are used in this article. Hannah/ChayaTwelve-year-old Hannah Stern, the main character in The Devil’s Arithmetic, goes on an incredible adventure and through a miraculous metamorphosis during the course of the novel. For most of the first half of the novel, Hannah appears to be a closed-minded and bigoted individual who just cannot comprehend why the Holocaust continues to be a source of such great importance to her grandparents.

  • Hannah appears to be somewhat closed-minded and intolerant at the beginning of the novel; she is perplexed as to why the Holocaust continues to be of such significance to her grandparents, even after so many years.
  • Hannah is headstrong and difficult to deal with when she is initially sent back in time to a Jewish town.
  • Hannah, on the other hand, has already begun to transform as a result of her harrowing four-day ride in an overcrowded, airless boxcar.
  • She is adamant in her refusal to take away the hope of the other captives, which she describes as “all they have.” Hannah begins to demonstrate empathy and understanding toward other people for the first time; she is no longer entirely focused on herself and her own demands.
  • Instead, she follows in the footsteps of her buddy Rivka and seeks to assist others.
  • In addition, Hannah forms intimate, loving, and unselfish ties with Rivka and her aunt Gitl, the type of relationships that can only be formed in the face of suffering on a grand scale.
  • Hanna is completely unaware that she will return to her previous life in New York; she freely chooses death in order to offer her buddy a second shot at life.
  • Rivka/Aunt EvaRivka, a little girl approximately Hannah’s age, is the first person to approach Hannah and Gitl when they arrive at the camp.
  • Rivka assists the others in surviving not just by sharing her expertise and advise on how to stay alive in the camps, but also by setting a strong example for others to follow.
  • She is always engaged in what she refers to as “organizing,” which entails identifying tiny ways to make life in the camp more comfortable, such as obtaining additional food and clothing.
  • When Hannah returns to the current day, she realizes that Rivka is her Aunt Eva, who she has never seen before.

After changing her name “to forget,” she claims that she did so in order to avoid the anguish of remembering; nevertheless, she later discovered that forgetting “was impossible.” During the last chapters of the novel, Aunt Eva gives Hannah the complete account of what happened to her when she was at the camp for the first time.

  • Because Aunt Eva has decided to remember and respect her deceased companion, the young woman who gave her life so that Eva may live, Eva has completed the goal she began in the camp: to survive and remember, and to give those who have died the opportunity to live again.
  • Hannah gives out an audible stomach growl shortly after they arrive at the camp, to which Gitl responds with a chuckle.
  • Hannah is moved to tears.
  • When Gitl notices Hannah distributing her bread, Gitl informs her that she must first eat her own meal and take care of herself before helping others.
  • Later in the narrative, Gitl becomes involved in an escape scheme, which demonstrates her will to fight and survive once more.

In addition, like her aunt Eva, Gitl continues to care for others and to bring hope long after the war has ended. She also helps to keep Chaya’s memory alive even after she has passed away.

The Devil’s Arithmetic – Wikipedia

The Devil’s Arithmetic

Author Jane Yolen
Country United States of America
Genre science fiction,fantasy,time slip
Publisher Viking
Publication date 1988
ISBN 0-670-81027-4
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Author Jane Yolen wrote a historical fictiontime slipnovel titled The Devil’s Arithmetici in 1988, which was first published in the United States. Hannah Stern, a Jewish girl who lives in New Rochelle, New York, is the protagonist of the novel, and she is transported back in time to witness the Holocaust. The story takes place during a Passover Seder, when Hannah is whisked back to 1941 Poland, during World War II, when she is condemned to a concentration camp and learns the necessity of understanding the history.


Author Jane Yolen, who is Jewish, stated that she had pondered writing about the Holocaust for a long time but had been overwhelmed by the subject matter at the time. She was persuaded to investigate the issue by an editor of hers at the time, who happened to be the wife of a Rabbi. The Devil’s Arithmetici is the author’s first novel to deal overtly with Jewish themes, and it is also his first novel to be published in English. During the course of writing the novel, Yolen spent a week at a private school in Indianapolis; when she explained to students about her upcoming work, one student inquired as to whether Yolen had made up the events of the novel, which was based on the true story of the Holocaust.


Hannah Stern is a Jewish adolescent who lives in the current day with her family. She is bored with her relative’s stories about the past, she is not looking forward to the Passover Seder, and she is fed up with her religious beliefs and practices. The moment Hannah opens the door figuratively for the prophetElijah, she is whisked back in time to the Polish – German border town of Ashtetl in 1942, during World War II. Hannah isn’t immediately aware of the time period in which she is operating.

  1. Because of the illness, Hannah/Chaya makes bizarre predictions about the future and is unable to recognize Chaya’s aunt Gitl and uncle Shmuel, who are Chaya’s aunt and uncle, respectively.
  2. Hannah and the other ladies are stripped naked, have their hair shaved, and have a number tattooed on their bodies.
  3. Hannah, with the assistance of a young woman called Rivka, strives to live at the camp.
  4. Fayge, who was engaged to be married to Shmuel, is slain as she goes to his side just before he is about to be shot along with the other men who have been apprehended.
  5. Later, as Hannah, Rivka, Esther, and Shifre are at work, a guard overhears them conversing instead of working, which leads to their arrest.
  6. As the three of them prepare to go, Hannah steps in to take Rivka’s place by donning her babushka.
  7. The women are escorted to the execution chamber.
  8. Aunt Eva summons her to come over.
  9. Hannah (then known as Chaya) was actually the lady after whom she was named, Rivka was Aunt Eva, and Rivka’s brother, Wolfe, was Grandpa Will, according to the story.
  10. Gitl (who weighed just seventy-three pounds when the camp was freed) is among the survivors.

Upon arriving in Israel, Gitl and Yitzchak go on to pursue careers in politics, while Yitzchak leads a rescue expedition aimed to saving the lives of young survivors and retrieving missing family members. The group is named after Chaya, her niece who died as a hero while serving in the military.


  • Hannah/Chaya, the novel’s youthful heroine, is described as follows: Hanna, a modern American Jewish adolescent, is sent back in time to a shtetl in Poland in 1941, where she is known by the nickname Chaya. In this episode, she witnesses the Nazis abducting and transporting the whole village’s Jewish population to a concentration camp.


Hannah undergoes a time slip in order to relive the events of the past. Time travel is used as a plot mechanism in the novel, as well as a technique for the characters to recall their past and for the reader to more truly understand the story. “If there is one thing that time travel novels can be claimed to achieve, it is this: they take the past and transform it into a live and continuing experience for the kid,” Yolen writes. Yolen thought that if the novel included a modern kid who traveled back in time and experienced history for themselves, the young reader would be more inclined to interact with the past.


Hannah undergoes a time slip in order to relive the events of the previous day. It is used as a plot device and as a method of remembering as well as a way for the reader to more deeply feel the story in this novel, which makes use of time travel. In the words of Yolen, “If there is one thing that time travel novels can be considered to achieve, it is this: they take the past and transform it into a live, ongoing experience for the kid.” If the novel depicted a modern kid who traveled back in time and saw history firsthand, Yolen thought that the young reader would be more inclined to engage with the past.


An adaptation of the novel, with the same title, was broadcast on Showtime television in 1999, starring Kirsten Dunst and Brittany Murphy.


Awarded the National Jewish Book Award (in the children’s literature category) in 1989, The Devil’s Arithmetic was nominated for a Nebula Award in 1988 for best novella and was nominated for another in 1989. A Nebula Award was also nominated for the writing for the television movie, which was also nominated.

Further reading

  • “The Door to Lilith’s Cave: Memory and Imagination in Jane Yolen’s Holocaust Novels,” E. Weil’s dissertation from 1993. Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 5(2), 90
  • Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 5(2), 90


  1. Jane Yolen’s “Devil’s Arithmetic, The – Jane Yolen” is a work of fiction. Yolen, Jane (1989–1990), retrieved on December 18, 2020
  2. AbcYolen, Jane “Speech Delivered at the Sydney Taylor Book Awards,” according to the transcript. The Journal of Judaica Librarianship, Volume 5, Number 1, page 52
  3. Ab”An Experimental Act.” retrieved on December 18, 2020
  4. THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC | retrieved on December 18, 2020
  5. “Children’s Book Review: The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen, Author Viking Books $16.99 (170p) ISBN 978-0-670-81027-7,” according to Kirkus Reviews. Samuels, Cynthia (December 18, 2020)
  6. Retrieved December 18, 2020
  7. (November 13, 1988). “CHILDREN’S BOOKS
  8. HANNAH LEARNS TO REMEMBER (Published 1988)” is an example of a children’s book. Journal of the New York Times (ISSN 0362-4331). ab”Year 2000 Nebula Nominations (Press Release)”. Retrieved December 18, 2020
  9. Ab”Year 2000 Nebula Nominations (Press Release). The SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) held its annual convention on April 15, 2000. The original version of this article was published on December 1, 2012. Obtainable on February 21, 2011. – Submitted by Jane Yolen on May 18, 2003. Archived from the original on April 29, 2012
  10. “Past Winners.” Jewish Book Council 20th of January, 2020
  11. Retrieved 20th of January, 2020

Devil’s Arithmetic, The – Jane Yolen

ISBN 0-670-81027-4 (Viking, 1988) Hardcover edition by Viking ISBN0-14-034535-3 Trade paperback published by Puffin ISBN0-14-240109-9 Paperback edition of the Puffin Modern Classics series I’d been thinking about writing a book on the Holocaust for a long time, but the prospect of doing so really overwhelmed me. Finally, one of my editors, who happened to be the wife of a rabbi at the time, encouraged me to take on the challenge. Writers and storytellers are the living memory of a civilisation, and those of us who are still alive now must make a point of not forgetting what occurred during that terrible period, lest we be bound to repeat it.

A family seder turns into a time travel adventure when she opens the door to Elijah and finds herself transported back in time to a Polish Jewish shtetl in the 1940s.

This is the narrative of the unsung heroics that took place in the camps, and it explains why we must bear witness to history.

Among its many honors are the Sydney Taylor Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries, the Jewish Book Council Award, and the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award, as well as being named a Nebula Honor Book.

Earlier in 2007, it was named the Children’s Literature Association’s 2008 Honor Book for the Phoenix Award, which is given to an author “for a book for children originally published in English that did not win a major award at the time of its publication twenty years earlier” but has withstood the passage of time.

  1. Kirsten Dunst starred in the film.
  2. Robert was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Special, and Donna was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Children’s Special for their work together on the show.
  3. Since 1949, the Wilbur has been awarded to deserving candidates.
  4. Teachers, please take notice of the following: Several letters from Dr.
  5. Here is an email from a sudent called Nicole, which has been reproduced with permission: “My name is Nicole, and I was competing in a speech competition.
  6. ” I tried my hardest and was quite emotional, but she didn’t think I was emotional enough.
  7. As a result, she recommended your book, ‘the Devils Arithmatic’.
  8. She inquired as to how I was able to capture the feel of the speech in only a couple of days.
  9. “.she was extremely taken aback.
  10. Thank you for putting together that book.
  11. made me realize how many things I was taking for granted That year, I came in fourth, but in my heart, I came in first because, owing to your book, I was able to experience the sorrow that those victims were experiencing.

In that particular year, the tears that flowed from my eyes weren’t staged; they were genuine. That tournament took place in 5th grade two years ago. Now that I am in 7th grade and 13 years old, I still adore the book and remember what it was like when I was younger. ” Around the Internet:

  • Teachers can use the book as a resource to teach about the Holocaust by using parallel readings of Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and The Devil’s Arithmetic
  • An article I wrote about the process of writing the book
  • And Phyllis Harrison of St. Christopher School in Baldwin, New York, has students write poems about Devil’s Arithmetic. Take a look at two of these poems
  • There is a Study Guide written by Michael Golden for Learning Links Inc
  • Here is a blog post from

Teachers can use the book as a resource to teach about the Holocaust by using parallel readings of Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry and The Devil’s Arithmetic; an article I wrote about the writing process; and Phyllis Harrison of St. Christopher School in Baldwin, New York, has students write poems about the book. Please see the following two poems; a Study Guide by Michael Golden from Learning Links Inc; and a blog post are all available.

  • Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (YALSA) list under the category “Books for the Soul”
  • 1988 Notable Children’s Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies
  • Parents Choice Awards Honor Book for Literature
  • The Women’s National Book Association has named this book a Judy Lopex Memorial Children’s Book Award Honor Book. Maryland’s Black-Eyed Susan Award nominee
  • American Bookseller’s Pick of the List
  • Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller List
  • In 1997, she was awarded the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award in Minnesota. The German edition was awarded the Leseratten Book Award in 1990, which was presented twice a year on German radio by a young panel. This book was one of the contenders for the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award in 1990-1991. Was a finalist for the Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award and one of the nominees. Listed on the Illiinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award nomination list for the years 1993-1994
  • Listed as a nominee for the 1992 Sunshine State Young Readers Award
  • Named as one of the 1999 Morning Star Award honorees for the film adaptation of Devil’s Arithmetic (1998). The award is given in recognition of “Honoring individuals who brighten the lives of Jewish women.” The film was screened at the Santa Barbara Film Festival in March 1999
  • The film was broadcast on Showtime on March 28, 1999, and was often rebroadcast during Passover week. It was nominated for five Emmys and won two of them: one for the screenplay and one for the directing. Awarded the “Wilbur Award” for “Outstanding Communication of Religious Values in Public Media,” the film was recognized for “Outstanding Communication of Religious Values in Public Media: Print, Film, Video, Broadcasting, and Cable.” Since 1949, the prize has been granted annually. This novel was named to the “Cuffies” List, which included top recommendations from Chkidren’s Booksellers for the “Best Novel with a Problem Theme.”
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There is a Korean version available. What some critics have to say:

  • The author, Yolen, strives to explain people who ask why the Holocaust should be remembered in this work, which received a starred review. Hannah, 12 years old, has grown tired of remembering and is humiliated by her grandfather, who yells and screams whenever the Nazis are mentioned. Her mother’s explanations of how her grandparents and great-aunt were separated from all of their family and friends during that period had no influence on the situation. Then, during a Passover Seder, Hannah is chosen to open the door for the prophet Elijah, who arrives at the house. She is carried to a hamlet in Poland during the 1940s, where she is mistaken for Chaya, who has recently recovered from an illness, and everyone believes she is her. When she is arrested by the Nazis and deported to a concentration camp, a little girl called Rivka befriends her and teaches her how to oppose the dehumanizing procedures of the camp and maintain her individuality. In the end, when their luck runs out and Rivka is picked, Hannah/Chaya, in an almost instinctive act of self-sacrifice, accepts the position in place of the other girls. Immediately after, she is escorted back to the entrance of her grandparents’ apartment, where she awaits the arrival of Elijah. Yolen does an excellent job of portraying the value of remembering via Hannah’s recollections of both the present and the past, which she shares with the reader. She makes a significant contribution to children’s awareness of the Holocaust’s consequences, which will echo throughout history, today and tomorrow.” —School Library Journal
  • “Yolen has written a compelling story that brings the atrocity of the Holocaust to life via the juxtaposition of events from the past with current understanding.” The experience of reading this book will help us better comprehend why, like Hannah did, we must remember what we’ve learned.” “The book’s simplicity is its strength
  • No remark is required because the facts speak for themselves.” –The New Advocate For a young readership, this courageous and compelling novel has much to teach them. ” Yolen’s time travel is skillfully arranged, and her narrative fits together like a beautifully carved piece,” says Publishers Weekly in a starred review. And if some teens will be more taken in by its neat beauty than by the tragedy Yolen is attempting to depict, they will nonetheless walk away with a feeling of sad history that both shocks and drives them to continue watching.” –Booklist
  • “A Masterpiece: If there has ever been a work that deserves the Newbery Award, this is it.” I don’t cry often–or easily–but I cried and didn’t care when I read Yolen’s masterful Devil’s of those rare young adult novels that, while not exceeding the emotional and intellectual range of its primary audience, is really for all of us.” “While not exceeding the emotional and intellectual range of its primary audience, Yolen’s masterful Devil’s Arithmetic is really for all of us.” • IAFA Newsletter
  • *STARRED REVIEW* “A triumphantly moving book. In less skilled hands, a story of this nature might risk being either didactic or irreverent, but Yolen has so completely integrated her deep concern with the structure and movingly poetic language toof her story that the meaning shines through.” In the words of Kirkus Reviews, “readers will be left with a feeling of sad history that is both disturbing and compelling.” “Those who read this book will never forget
  • And, just as important, they will understand why it is so crucial that we never forget.” — Booklist In a world where criminal regimes such as those that have massacred innocents in Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Chile exist, I would like to believe that this generation of youngsters will all read The Devil’s Arithmetic.” — Orson Scott Card, author of Fantasy and Science Fiction novels
  • Cynthia Samuels, political producer of the Today Show, wrote a lengthy review of the book that appeared in the New York Times in November 1988, concluding, “This is a book that parents should read first.” And while many young people who read it may turn to their parents for explanations and consolation, the story’s impact appears to be drastically different from that of, instance, Elie Wiesel’s “Night,” another Holocaust-related novel they could come across in their school or community. His life was a testament – an offering of proof to a world that could not comprehend such atrocity as his. Ms. Yolen’s story is more of a bridge to a past that is fading away, and it closes on a note of atonement and love, as opposed to a historical novel. All of our children will need to know what occurred during the Holocaust at some point in their lives. “The Devil’s Arithmetic” is an emotionally charged approach to get things started.”

Character Analysis Of Hannah In The Devil’s Arithmetic

Have you ever experienced a transformation as a result of what you went through? Hanna changes as she realizes what the holocaust is about, according to the novel The Devil’s Arithmetic, written by Jane Yolen. A Jewish festival, Passover, was about to be celebrated by Hannah and her family, and the narrative begins with them preparing to celebrate. Due of Hannah’s disinterest in going, she began whimpering and snotting, claiming that it was not essential. Throughout the novel, Hannah’s character adjusts her attitude regarding each Jewish festival or celebration.

  1. When Hannah was present at the Seder supper with her family, she was given the honor of opening the door for the prophet Elijah.
  2. Shmuel is getting ready for his wedding and his engagement to Fayge, which will take place in the near future.
  3. Hannah was forewarned of what was to come.
  4. When Hannah returns home, she finds herself still at the Seder supper, where she realizes that the numbers on Aunt Eva’s dress are the same as the numbers on Rivika’s dress.
  5. “Hannah craved something and yanked her aunt’s fingers away from her mouth.
  6. “Oh, yes, I recall.” Yolen (164 Yolen) The phrase is related to Hannah and how she recalls living through one of the individuals in the camps and the horrifying experience they had while in their company.
  7. In relation to the issue, towards the conclusion of the story, she recognizes the importance of remembering the past in order to ensure that they will never forget what happened.

Essay On Hannah In The Devil’s Arithmetic

Did something that happened to you cause you to change your life? After learning about the holocaust in Jane Yolen’s novel The Devil’s Arithmetic, Hannah’s perspective on life changed. Hanna and her family were planning a celebration of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which began the story at the beginning of the story. Hannah began whining and snotting because she didn’t want to go, claiming that it wasn’t important to do so. Hannah’s character changes her feelings about Jewish holidays throughout the course of the novel.

  1. At the Seder dinner, while Hannah and her family were present, she was given the honor of opening the door for the prophet Elijah.
  2. Fayge is engaged to Shmuel, and the two are preparing for their wedding.
  3. Hannah was forewarned of what was about to take place.
  4. The Seder dinner is still going on when Hannah returns home, and she notices that the numbers on Aunt Evas are the same as the numbers on Rivikas’s plate.
  5. Her aunt’s fingers were on Hannah’s lips when she realized what she needed to do.
  6. (128) (164) (164 Yolen When Hannah says this, she is referring to her memories of living through one of the people in the camps and the horrifying experience they had.

In relation to the topic, by the end of the story, she understands the importance of remembering the past in order to ensure that they do not forget what occurred. From the beginning to the end of the story, Hannah has changed dramatically.

What We Pretend to Be: The Devil’s Arithmetic

“We are what we portray ourselves to be.” Kurt Vonnegut is a writer and novelist. The concept of identity is central to time travel because individuals are products of their eras: when a character is ripped from their own period and thrust into another, it often raises the question of who they really are and where their identity is located. Okay, so maybe not inevitability is the key word here. There are a plethora of children’s time-travel stories in which the main character(s) travel back in time like tourists, take in the sights, learn something (“Wow, life was tough on the prairies/during the Revolutionary War/during Medieval Europe!”), and then return home without experiencing any sort of identity crisis.

  • This means that they must find a way to blend in and pretend that they are a part of the present day, sometimes to everyone, sometimes to everyone but a few confidantes.
  • However, when identity is introduced into the mix in a more profound way, it raises a troubling human question: if we lived someplace else, or at a different time, would we be someone else as well?
  • What exactly does one’s “self” consist of?
  • Who are the folks we are familiar with?
  • Or is it something more fundamental, more necessary, and more difficult to destroy?
  • It begins with Hannah, a twelve-year-old girl, on her way from her home in New Rochelle to a Passover seder in the Bronx, whining the entire way about how she’s always being told to remember her family history or her Jewish history.
  • Everyone in the town recognizes her as Chaya, and she quickly learns that Chaya has recently arrived in the village to recover from an illness she contracted in her home in the great city of Lublin, where she grew up.

Her horror is compounded by the realization that the Jews of her new village are about to be “resettled”: despite her best efforts to avoid learning about the Holocaust (her grandmother was a survivor), Hannah is well-versed in the subject, and she is well-aware of what resettlement entails, and she is desperate to warn her new friends, neighbors, and relatives.

And how much of it has to do with her recollections of the past?

She gradually transforms into Chaya rather than Hannah as she becomes immersed in the world of the concentration camps, which is as unfamiliar and surreal to her new village compatriots as it is to her (perhaps even more so, given that she knows a little about it from history lessons and they, of course, don’t), and her memories of her previous life begin to fade.

  • Throughout the novel, the theme of remembering and recounting tales is brought back again and again.
  • The author, using her foggy recollections of her past as Hannah, acts as a visionary prophet, offering comfort to her companions by “predicting” a period in the future when there would be a Jewish state and Jewish movie stars, which occurs at the conclusion of the novel.
  • After returning, unexpectedly, to her original time and identity, Hannah carries her memories of 1942 with her, and in a dramatic last act, she merges her memories of the past with those of the present.
  • Yolen, on the other hand, is doing more than creating a cautionary story about the Holocaust or the need of remembering the past; she is also posing unanswerable concerns about memory and its link to what defines a person’s identity.

Els Kushner is a writer and librarian based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She can’t even recall what she had for breakfast at this point.

Booktalks Quick and Simple

Yolen, Jane THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC New York: Viking Penguin, 1988. IL YA ISBN 0670810274 (8 booktalks) Booktalk1 In THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC young Hannah is not interested in going to the seder. To her, all Jewish holidays are about remembering and she is tired of remembering. Her grandfather had been in the concentration camps, and her grandmother lost all but her brother to the camps. Hannah is embarrassed by Grandpa’s outbursts and would have preferred to share in her friend’s Easter Festivities. But, at the seder, as Hannah opens the door for the prophet Elijah, she is swept back in time to a Polish village in 1942. With her knowledge as Hannah intact, she must live what is to come. Chaya (Hannah) is in a small village, able to understand the Yiddish spoken around her, but remembering also her life as Hannah. As they leave for her uncle’s wedding, the simplicity and poverty of shtetel life is portrayed. When they arrive at Viosk, they are met by the Nazi’s. Here they begin their journey into the reality of the time, from the trucks to the boxcars to the concentration camps. Through the experiences which Chaya (Hannah) faces, we see the brutal arithmetic. “As long as we breath, we can see and hear. As long as we can remember, all those gone before are alive inside us.” And Chaya finds that she can die to save her forebearers. (Barbara Goldenhersh, PhD, Assistant Professor, Harris Stowe State College, St. Louis, MO) Booktalk2 In this book, Hannah and her family travel to visit more of her family for Passover (they’re Jewish). She and her brother Aaron are the only children in her family. In the first chapter, it talks about her family and past things she’d done with them. She expresses real feeling when she talks about the time she wrote a number with blue pen to have the same one as her grandfather. He yelled at her for not understanding, and boy was he mad. Later on it talks about her opening the door for Elijah, but when she looked out what she saw was an old dirt road and chickens. She looked back and saw an old fashioned kitchen with a old kettle stove, and old things you wouldn’t see today(unless it’s in a museum) She meets Shmuel and Gitl, and they keep calling her by her Jewish name, Chaya, which means life. The name becomes quite ironic when on the day of Shuel’s wedding her and about 50 more people are kidnapped and forced onto an old pickup truck. The trip is to a camp for Jews to be kept as slaves. The trip is long and hard and several young children die. They arrive at the camp to meet several others that have been taken also. They must have their hair shaved off, possessions taken, and.have a number burned onto their arms. Throughout the story she meets several people, like Rivka. Rivka was actually too young to stay, but she looked the part. Her brother was one of the chosen Jews to take others to the cave where they are burned to ashes. Speaking of too young, the younger children must run and hide in the dumps when the Commando comes. They must strip of all clothing and hide until he leaves. Everyone, including the keepers, knows about this. They just let them hide for the fun of watching them scatter in fear. On one occasion, Chaya(Hannah) has to save a young infant who was to slow. Stripping of her clothes, she covers the child and waits in fear. Chaya, Rivka, and two other girls are given the duty to clean and cook the meals. They take advantage of this and give themselves extra helpings, even as little as that is. One time they are caught, Rivkas own brother too, and just for the heck of it he picks two of them to be burned. He doesn’t pick Chaya, but he winks at her as if he had a reason. Before they are taken, Chaya helps Rivka escape, saying,”They will not know the difference betweeen one Jew or another. Nor will they care who dies”. So she takes Rivka’s place and dies in the fire. Suddenly Hannah is back home. Her aunt’s, uncle’s, and other family look at her wondering if Elijah is coming. She closes the door. Later on that night, one of her aunt’s explains the meaning of her Jewish name. She says that Chaya means life, which was her best friends name, the name of the one who sacreficed her self for her to live. She shows the number on her arm to Hannah. Hannah explains the number. And that is the end. (Tracy Roope,[email protected], HCMS Library) Booktalk3 When you have been opening a door to a hallway or outside have you ever opened it to a small farmhouse in Poland, in the year 1942? Well thirteen year old, Hannah does open that door. Hannah is a normal teenager like you and me. She likes to hang out with her friends and go to the movies. She is also lazy towards her Jewish religion. She needs to be more unselfish in her mom�s eyes.It all began before a family get together for a Jewish holiday at her Aunt�s apartment in the city of New Rochelle. She tells her mom that she is tired of remembering. Her mom makes her go to the dinner anyway. At the dinner she is asked to go open the door for Elijah to come in. Hannah goes because it can�t harm anyone and is just a dumb tradition. When she opens the door she opens it to a different house in 1942, instead of an apartment hallway. Out the window she can see farm crops and trees to the distance. She finds out that this family is Jewish base family and calls her Chiay. Then she sees that they already know her. When she tries to tell the family she is from New Rochelle they just laugh and joke at her. So she gives up on convincing them. The family is getting ready for a wedding she finds out later. When they try and go to the wedding they are stopped by German soldiers. They say they must be moved to another place because of World War II. So they agree and get into their trucks. Then after the truck ride they have to get on a train. They end up in a Nazi concentration camp.Nate and I both agree it is an historical fiction book. We also agree the author does a very good job on getting the historical facts right. The author does a very good job of describing the difficulty the concentration inmates go through. This book is real as it can be about the holocaust events from how the Nazis tricked the Jews to the deaths of many in the camps. So in conclusion both Nate and I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a solid historical fiction book.So do you think Hannah will successfully make it back to New Rochelle learning a life lesson or die, and not learn anything from concentration camp experience. This is a big load on Hannah�s shoulders, to find out if she gets back to New Rochelle read this awesome book, The Devils Arithmetic. This book is truly an award winner. (Kyle Poisson)Booktalk4 This book is about a girl named Hannah. She is sick of going to holiday parties. But one time she get sucked back in time and has to go to a death camp. She does not like it there but it gets easier. (Garrett R., K-12 student, Iowa) Booktalk5 The Devil’s Arithmetic is a book on World War 2 and the Holocaust. Hannah is a little girl and is tired of everytime. A holiday comes around and all her Jewish family talks about is the holocaust. Suddenly out of the blue she goes back in time and lives the life of a girl in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. After learning what its like she comes back in time and now understands what some of her family went threw when they were in the death camps.(Donna D., K-12 student, Iowa) Booktalk6 Hannah is a Jewish girl and she celebrates the Jewish holiday every year. Ever time she goes to her grandfather and grandmother’s house, her grandpa yells at the t.v when he is watching it. Soon she goes to the past and she startes out as a girl named Chaya and she was very sick. Soon when her uncle trys to get married, the Nazies come and take all of them away. They are taken to Death Camp. A lot of the people who were there died. She never knows if she is going to die the next day or be living. They only get potato soup and a hard peice of bread 3 times a day. Every time when someone she knows gets killed she doesn’t want to cry because she is afraid that if she does they will shot her. I would rate this a book an 8 because at the begining it is very confusing and then it gets exciting. (Victoria S., K-12 student, Iowa) Booktalk7 Hannah is a 12 year old Jewish girl. Every time the holidays come around her whole family talks about the past. Hannah iis sick of hearing about the past. The next thing Hannah knew she was transformed into the past. Hannah is very confused. she has to go to a wedding and the Nazis come and take Hannah away. They don’t jsut take Hannah. They take her Jewish friends too. They took them to a concentration camp. There Hannah has to work. She gets very little food and very poor shoes.Read to see if Hannah ever gets back to her normal time or stays in the past forever. I rate this book a 7. At the begining it is fairly confusing but it gets really good as it goes on.(Jaclyn B., k-12 student, Iowa) Booktalk8 Thirteen-year-old Hannah hates attending her family Seder. All the talk about the remembering the Holocaust bores her until she finds herself transported to a Polish ghetto in 1942. There, she joins the residents from all over as they’re taken to a concentration camp. This is not a fun camp, for it is a camp where many will not make it out alive. The trip is long, tiring, deadly, and hard. Several small children die along the way and many others become extremely sick. They arrive at a death camp and meet several others who have been brought to this god-awful place. They must get their hair shaved off, get thoroughly cleaned, and get a number branded onto their forearm. Throughout the story Hannah, otherwise known as Chaya in the camps, meets several people that help to keep her spirits alive and give her the push to keep living through this horrible time. Through Hannah, with her memories of the present and past, Jane Yolen does an excellent job of illustrating the importance of remembering. Find out if Hannah makes it through gas chambers, starvation, sickness, and self-sacrifice in this compelling remembrance story about a past that cannot be forgotten. The Devil’s Arithmetic is truly a sensational story and one you will not soon forget.(Kayleigh Harris, [email protected], college student) SUBJECTS: Jews – FictionConcentration camps – FictionTime travel – Fiction
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The Devil’s Arithmetic: Jane Yolen

The Devil’s Arithmeticby Jane Yolen is the next book I’ll be reading for the 48 Hour Book Challenge. Among other honors, this work received the National Jewish Book Award. The Devil’s Arithmeticitells the story of little Hannah, a modern-day Jewish child from New Rochelle, who accidentally unlocks a door and finds herself in the midst of the Nazi concentration camps. Hannah, in the current day, has grown tired of her family’s Passover Seder gatherings, particularly her grandfather’s rantings and ravings about the ancient world.

However, in modern-day America, it is difficult to relate to it.

It is 1942, and the recently orphaned Chaya is celebrating her uncle’s wedding day with her extended family in a Polish Jewish shtetl, where she was raised.

In the remaining chapters of the novel, Hannah/Chaya describes her journey to and time spent living in a Nazi concentration camp.

However, it is not for the faint of heart because The Devil’s Arithmetici is such a compelling and completely fascinating novel.

In a far more dramatic way than merely knowing the facts of the Holocaust could possibly do, the book introduces youngsters to the story of the Holocaust.

Although it is not much simpler to comprehend.

“Writers and storytellers represent the memory of a civilisation, and we who are still living now must be very careful not to forget what occurred during that terrible period, or else we may be bound to repeat it,” she explains.

Jane Yolen is the author of this piece.

The first edition of this book was published in 1988.

Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page created this graphic in 2009.

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