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Love Is Not A Victory March

1396 words - 6 pages

Émilie Carles and Heda Kovály seemingly have very little in common. If one takes away that they are women, and living only one generation apart from each other, the life experiences that either one faced were so different from one another that it would be easily presumed that the women grew into adulthood as entirely different people. However, once a reader examines each story more closely, it is impossible to avoid seeing the parallels between them. The fortitude, conviction, and determination each woman developed are clear indicators of the similarities between them, many of which are simply under the surface. These, and many other attributes developed within the trials of their lives are ...view middle of the document...

199), Émilie was unexpectedly transferred away from her position in Val-de-Prés to a disciplinary appointment in Le Casset - far from her home, husband, and children. As these difficulties came upon Émilie, she took them in a stride, handling with them with a sense of dignity and strength. Émilie searched for the truth regarding her disciplinary placement until it was admitted to her that it was directly related to Jean Carles political and personal opinions. As this was revealed, Émilie realized the only response that she could have (that would not get them into even more trouble) was to simply accept the position and hope for a change of position back to Val-de-Prés.
This time, while emotionally trying, was not the worst for Émilie, she was in no danger of starving, and made deep friendships during her stay but was separated from her children and being wrongly punished for a crime that was not committed (p.204 -207). When given the opportunity to speak out about her condition, Émilie did so with courage. She was able to explain precisely the situation, as it was happening, as well as the parts of her change of position that were directly illegal, (such as her children being in the care of Jean Carles, instead of herself) and she did so in front of the whole town in a calm and collected manner (206). The way in which Émilie handled herself at this time was instrumental in the eventual restoration of her former post.
Heda had a much more traumatic experience when she was out of and could not find employment. Heda’s husband had already been arrested, and while she was anticipating the loss of her job, her coping mechanism for the various stresses in her life at the moment was to take each one as they came to her-not worrying about what was to come in the future (p119). To not have a job in the situation that Heda was in meant many things; it meant that she could not support her child, and it meant that she could be considered a “parasite” and have the possibility of herself being arrested (p.120). Heda was no longer able to pay for rent or food and had very little prospect of getting a job that would pay a sufficient amount (p120). She knew that the more news that was published on the matter of her husband, the more she would be ostracized for marrying an accused “traitor.” The financial situation that Heda was in had unbearable qualities. Not only was she not able to pay her “exorbitant”(121) rent but she also had to give her husband, Rudolph, the illusion that she and their son were fine via giving him a small amount of money with each letter (121). The Party would not let her move out of her apartment, saying that although she was paying rent and her name was on the lease, it was part of their property, and she could not leave until Rudolph’s case was resolved (p.121).
Heda did find work within the illustration industry, but often had to work full shifts, walk to her home, and work for...

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