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The Doorharp Essay

2543 words - 10 pages

The story Ilana Davita Chandal is the only daughter of Michael and Anne Chandal.Michael is a catholic, but turned communist. He is a journalist and writes a lot about (political) injustice in the world. Ilana's mother is a Polish Jew. She grew up in an orthodox Jewish family in Poland. Later, she went to Vienna and after that to the United States. Now she is an non-believing Jew. She and Michael share the Utopian ideas. Usually in the evenings, there are meetings in their apartment. People come to their apartment to talk about political injustice in Europe, with an accent on Spain.Ilana is very studious, and when she doesn't understand something, she looks it up in a dictionary or an encyclopedia. So she knows a lot about politics while she is so young.Her Parents are continually moving from apartment to apartment. Usually they don't stay longer than ± three months in the same apartment. So Ilana can't make good friends for long. There is no stability in her life. The only things that never changes, are two objects, always hanging in the same place; A doorharp and a picture of three galloping horses on the beach. One day a friend of Anna, called Jacob Daw, comes to their apartment. He tries to escape from the Nazis. He is a writer and writes strange stories about injustice. Most people don't understand his stories. One night, 'Uncle' Jacob tells Ilana a story about a bird, who lives in a country with a beautyful nature and music playing the whole day. The people are always making war. They don't realize that they are doing wrong things, because they hear beautiful music playing whole day. So the bird blames the music for the war and thinks when the music will stop the people will come to their senses. Ilana dislikes the end of the story and she and her parents don't really understand it.When it is summer, Ilana and her parents go to a cottage by the sea. Ilana is building a sand-castle. For her, it is a protection against fascists on the other side of the ocean. Every time the castle is gone, she rebuilds it. Than Jacob Daw comes to their cottage again. He's also very ill now. He tells a story about horses in a valley. There is a group with powerful black horses and a group of white horses. There is one grey horse, always alone. He wants to be with the black horses. Then he is struck by lightning and dies. Ilana doesn't like it and dreams about it.Micael has to go to Spain, he is sent by his paper, he has to write articles about the war. Jacob is also going. Ilana doesn't like it. Her father, Jacob Daw and Aunt Sarah, Europe is devouring all the people she loves. She sees Europe as the country of Baba Yaga. (A Russian folk-tale about a witch.) Ilana and her mother go to a new apartment in the city. Ilana meets the girl next door, Ruthie Helfman, who is also Jewish. Ilana is very interested in the Jewish religion. She wants to read the Torah and she wants to learn Hebrew. The Helfman family help her and give her books. Ilana doesn't like...

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