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Helen Dunmore tells the story of the Siege of Leningrad by showing the trials and tribulations of one family. Do you think she has been successful?

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´╗┐Siege Essay: Helen Dunmore tells the story of the Siege of Leningrad by showing the trials and tribulations of one family. Do you think she has been successful? I think that Helen Dunmore has been successful in the telling the story through the Levin family. She clearly depicts the trials and tribulations, yet Dunmore could?ve done justice by letting the audience know more about the major events of the progress of the Siege. The Germans surround the city cutting off the food supply and escape routes. Over six thousand people were killed in Leningrad during the winter, mainly from starvation. Throughout the novel, Anna and her family have been very well off. They all live together in safety, none of them are in prison or forced to be in the world war and have the skills needed for survival. We are told that they had an apartment which was very large and ?desired by many? and that people would kill to live in such a large place. They own a burzhuika, have wood and food and are have money and their possessions. Anna, the central character of the novel is a believable mixture of vulnerability and strength already having a very busy lifestyle. ...read more.


Mikhail is a testament to the way Stalinism was crushing people. He is unable to accept the changing times, the rejection of what were in his eyes, good stories. He is under the iron fist of the Soviet state and is breaking down. After he returns from the hospital he has changed so much physically and mentally that even his own children couldn?t even recognise him. He has been affected greatly by the horrors of the war he has fought in and by Vera?s death. Even though there are certain characters such as Andrei and Marina who are not actualAndrei is a very patriotic Siberian and is a very committed doctor who is scarred from the experiences at the Luga Line. He seems generous and kind-hearted towards his patients feels he is unequipped to help some of them on the front line. He is a doctor who works with method and will only speak about things which he has personally experienced. Andrei and Anna are drawn together through their similar experiences. Both have been on the Luga Line and have shared similar traumas of seeing death. Both on their return are slightly scarred by this and it has changed their characters slightly. ...read more.


She helped Anna in preparing the food and making decisions. She too has been affected by starvation, we are told that her ring can no longer fit her, that her fingers are so thin and bony. She gives the family some hope and motivation. Also the deaths of the two lovers, Mikhail and Marina once again show the story of the Siege through the family. We see their suffering, to provide for their family and we see that for some close family members of the citizens that death gave way to victory. This shows the losses that all had to face, losing loved ones and not being able to bury them as the ground is too hard and no one has the energy to do so. Overall, I believe that showing the trials and tribulations of Anna and her family have given us a good idea of how the siege was affecting the citizens and that Dunmore has been successful. We see through all the characters the hardships faced, whether it was the young children or the old women and that the Siege affected all and that wealth did not matter. The novel ends on an optimistic note, with the remaining members of the family walking outside in the summer?s which shows new life and some hope. ...read more.

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