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When looking back on a significant event in history, or even just one's life, there are usually two perspectives. First of all, the event can be something that has been accepted. One does not necessarily have to take pride in it, but they will not ignore the fact that it happened, it's a part of life. In this case, the event is not brought up on a day to day basis, but when it is, the person who lived through it can deal with it and does not become disturbed. The second outlook is that one would want to forget it ever happened at all. In this case the person tries to put it behind them, and in doing so, it really disturbs them. When the event is brought up, it hurts, and it could even in some instances hurt the person on a day to day basis. It may not be a conscious thing, but it could be at times. When we look at British-Jewish literature, we can see the Holocaust as this significant event in history. This literature is definitely post-Holocaust literature in that these two perspectives are taken on in many works. While assessing a couple of books, we will run into people who try to act as if the Holocaust never affected them, while it has, as well as ones who accept that the Holocaust happened, and it was a rather large part of their life.
The first work that will be looked at is Kindertransport, by Diane Samuels. In this piece, we immediately learn about Eva, Evelyn's younger self. She is a child who is sent to England by her mother in order to avoid any harm during the years of the Holocaust. In England, Eva's name is changed to Evelyn because she wants an English name in order to feel as though she is one of the English. This is symbolic of her new beginning, although she does not see it at the time. Eva believes her parents will come to get her as they always said they would, but Evelyn realizes this is not the case in as time goes on. As Evelyn grows up, she becomes close to Lil, her English mother, and although she always has the hope of finding her real parents, as time passes, Lil does become her real parent. This can be seen in Evelyn's developing trust in Lil. The incident that most clearly shows this developing trust is when Lil does not force Evelyn to get on the train to go to school. Evelyn is affected by this because her real mother forced her to get on the train to go to England even though she was opposed to it.
As we look at Evelyn in the present, we see a very strong woman who has chosen to forget her past and the things that happened to her. She has many memories packed away in a box, but she chooses to leave them this way. Evelyn lives her life as
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Evelyn, Thomas Hartmann, Thomas Fibich, Eva, Anita Brookner, Diane Samuels, Faith, her real parent,
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