The Endless Steppe - review

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The Endless Steppe

The book is a war-time autobiography about Esther Hautzig’s exile to Russia during World War 1. At the beginning of the account it is set in Poland and then transfers with the movement of the refugees she is with to Russia. Esther Hautzig wrote the book looking back on her past life in 1968.

The First World War affected Esther’s life from 1939 when Hitler’s armies marched on Poland until when she was released from exile in 1946. In 1940 the Russians who were allies of Germany occupied Vilna the place where Esther and her family lived. Ether and her family embark upon their adventure when they are accused of being capitalists and are arrested by some Russian soldiers.

Esther grows up a lot during her experiences in exile. She evolves from a rich girl living in a well-off family and takes everything for granted into a responsible, independent young woman. She learns to be grateful over the smallest of things and also learns how important family is when half of it is taken away from her.

There are various different incidents which show what Esther learns from her exile and, show her growth into a responsible young woman.

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The first incident that I have chosen shows Esther’s immaturity at the start of the story. It is the part of the story where all of the other children at school have silk panties and Esther really wants some to be like all the others. Her mother refuses to get her some and so they begin a big argument. Esther decides that she won’t go to school until she gets some. Eventually she gives in when it is time for her to go to grade school.

Here are some quotes from this incident in the story.

“…a gorgeous ...

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