Briar Rose

Jane Yolen’s Briar Rose explores the theme/ideas of human endurance and survival and remembrance and yolen uses a number of techniques such as language, allegory and symbolism, which are evident in this extract. Yolen’s story is a combination of the fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty and the historical events of the Holocaust.
In Briar Rose, Yolen adapts the language to suit the situation and speakers in different sections of the novel. Two main characters (Josef Potocki and Becca Berlin) use different types of speech patterns and language in the novel. In the section – The Castle, Josef uses a spare (which means the use of fewer words) and heroic language when he explains the story of Gemma to Becca and Magda, which has a relationship to the theme/ idea of human endurance and survival. Yolen uses language to explain what Josef is talking about. In Josef’s story, he shows that human weakness and strength are on the same sides, a good example is Josef. At the beginning of the war, Josef was quite cowardly and he tried to pretend that he was not gay because he may receive harsh treatment. He changes when he becomes involved with the partisans and with other victims of the holocaust. When Aron jumps in the pit of dead bodies to save Gemma it is Josef who becomes courageous revives her. He becomes courageous and understands the strength of the partisan group. A good example of this is when Josef says, “Some of them were heroes, some of them were fools, and all of them were liars”. The novel is a story of survivors and heroes. and in Josef’s story when Gemma is saved, her survival and life is due to the heroic effort of the partisan group and Josef for giving her the kiss of life.
Yolen uses interrextuality to shape her story because Briar Rose is compunction of three stories. Josef is the witness and the key to the mystery of who Gemma really was and where she came from. Josef tells his story of Gemma as if he is the storyteller in using third person. When Gemma tells her...