Briar Rose Techniques

“The fairy tale begins as a simple story told by Gemma to her 3 granddaughters. However, the reader becomes aware that a darker truth lies beneath the fairy tale.” Gemma told the story Briar Rose as one way of looking at the dreadful reality or otherwise to appalling to contemplate. She could not communicate such experiences directly to her. Through the telling of the story, however, she can make them see the inner horrors of her experiences, and the improbable wonder of her survival. The fairy tale also helps her make sense of her own experiences, explaining them to herself. In her retelling, Gemma frequently uses the traditional phrases Once upon a time and lived happily ever after. But it is clear to the reader that she personalises the material in such a way as to link it with the nightmarish events of her wartime life.
Yolen uses a variety of language features and techniques to emphasize on the themes, events and nature of the truth of Gemma’s story.
  * Allegory /Metaphor
The narrative is not just symbols. She has constructed the whole story as an allegory - a text whose whole plot is in itself symbolic. Gemma has obviously used the story of Sleeping Beauty to disguise the truth, but clearly fixed within her story are despair, pain and an enduring sense of loss. Thus, the story is not only a allegory but also a metaphor that relates to the real past and events of the Holocaust. In her quest, Becca is able to uncover these truths and to share her knowledge with her family. Text shows contradictory but also parallel worlds. As Gemma admits to Becca prior to her death, 'I am Briar Rose.' We learn that her early life was marked by acts of courage, resilience, endurance and determination against forces so inhuman and evil that they almost defy understanding. Real story is one about victims and survivors. Like many allegorical tales, it tells of good triumphing over evil, of a contented life won only after life-threatening difficulties and dangers have been...