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Sarah’s Key Essay Sample

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Sarah’s Key Essay Sample

Everyone reacts differently to stories, books and facts about history. Everyone has their own opinion. The horrible events that happened in France during 1942 tend to make people today feel powerless, emotions of anger and rage. However, if someone thought the opposite of this, a persuasive book like Tatiana De Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key, would definitely change their mind. Analyzing this book in the literary lens, you can understand the author’s opinion, and how she develops it throughout the story. The way she explained the situations of the Vel’ d’Hiv from two points of view: a 10 year old girl experiencing this shocking event, and an American journalist in France, in 2002; gives you every detail of everything that was happening in France during those times, and the facts that we know today.

The Velodrome d’hiver Roundup was the greatest mass-arrest of Jews ever carried out. It involved 13 000 victims from Paris and its suburbs. Over slightly more than two days, the Round-up involved nearly a third of the 42,000 Jews deported to Polish death camps in 1942. The statistics for this terrible year account for over half of the total 76,000 Jewish deportations from France. The most horrible thing about this incident is that since a lot of men were already hiding, thousands of women and children had to experience this entire dreadful event. Tatiana De Rosnay uses fictional characters and stories to describe every point of view of the Vel’ d’Hiv. A 10 year old girl, later referred to as Sarah, narrates half of the story. She is taken to an indoor cycle track with her mother and father. Thousands of Jew families are taken there, having to stay for weeks with unhealthy and dangerous conditions. They could barely eat, they had no restrooms or showers, it was really crowded, and most of them were women and kids.

The girl describes everything she sees around her, which really makes the reader emotional because of the innocence the girl represents. The other narrator, Julia, is a journalist who is asked to write about this same event. She is investigating all that happened and realized that not a lot of people know about it in France, and that story is somehow hidden from the people. As the terrifying story with Sarah goes on, Julia is finding more information about what really happened. As you keep reading this interesting story, you can find yourself learning about lots of different factors that were affecting the story of France in that time. The author uses sensory details a lot, manipulating the reader to feel a certain way. She describes with lots of detail everything the girl is seeing, everything every character is feeling. You can feel through every word that Tatiana de Rosnay feels melancholy and grief over this theme. Every character, every chapter, every literary device she is using, makes you feel all those people were feeling. She definitely delivers her point of view in every character’s personality and every little detail in the story. She succeeds to make the reader understand the history of this event, its importance, and her intention in writing Sarah’s Key.

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