I wrote a compare and contrast essay comparing The Hiding Place and Number the Stars.
|The Hiding Place vs. Number the Stars
The Holocaust, millions of people of different race, religion, and culture were murdered by Adolf Hitler the ruler of Germany during WWII. Corrie ten Boom was one of the few survivors of the Holocaust and came back to her home in Haarlem, Holland to retell the story many times over and over again. She wrote a book called The Hiding Place, a tale of her horrors that she lived through during her time in the concentration camps and how she held on to faith to keep herself alive.
Number the Stars was a book written by Lois Lowry was the tale of a young girl who faced the loss of the people who she cared the most about. She faced trying times and probably wished this wouldn’t have happened. The main character Annemarie faced the fear of losing her best friend, Ellen.
The two main characters, Corrie ten Boom and Annemarie Johansen, are actually quite alike. They both are not Jewish and would do anything to help the greater good of other people. They also have their differences. I think that Corrie and her sister Betsie show a big demonstration of what true faith really does look like. They rely on faith while they go through the tough times they were dealing with in the concentration camps. “If God has shown us bad times ahead, it's enough for me that He knows about them. That's why He sometimes shows us things, you know - to tell us that this too is in His hands” (ten Boom, 156). I do not believe that Annemarie shows the characteristics of the strong faith that Corrie and Betsie have during the situations. Granted, Annemarie was not in the exact same situation, but she did not demonstrate the faith that God would provide, and that God was the only way out of the place they were suffering in. Annemarie did, however, demonstrate the aspects of a true friend. “Annemarie relaxed the clenched fingers of her right hand, which still clutched Ellen’s necklace. She looked down, and saw that she had imprinted the Star of David into her palm” (Lowry, 49). Annemarie was so scared for her friend that she imprinted the Star if David into her palm even though she was not Jewish. She showed how much she cared about her friend even though they were different.
The themes in this book were also on very different ends of the spectrum. One theme in Number the Stars was fairy tales. When Annemarie was scared, she would pretend the events in the war were just part of a fairy tale, and she would find the courage to persist on to whatever she was doing. G. K. Chesterton said, “Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed” From things like this she grew faith in what she was doing because she knew the good guys in fairy tales always won. But every child must grow old, and realize that not all fairy tales are true, and the dragons can not always be slayed by the heroes.
The main theme in The Hiding Place was religion and demonstrating faith when faith didn’t seem to be present in any ones lives around you. C.S. Lewis once said, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” He shows Christianity and how faith should be lived. Corrie and Betsie also demonstrated this faith that C.S. Lewis had. They showed this the whole way through the book and they both were happy at the end no matter where they ended up. Betsie ended up in heaven, and Corrie ended up having the home that she and her sister had dreamed of. She lived out their dream while Betsie looked down and watched, blessing her the whole way through.
The settings in this story are also different, but also alike. The Hiding Place takes place in Haarlem, Holland, while Number the Stars takes place in Copenhagen Denmark. Holland and Denmark during the dark days of the Holocaust were actually the same. They were both suffering from poverty, and they both had to use ration coupons. The two places were almost exactly alike, they were also pretty much the same as every other city and country in Europe during WWII.
These two stories are both very different, they tell two completely different sides of what happened during the Holocaust. One side tells us about the concentration camps and the wretchedness they had to go through. The other side tells of the hard times out of the concentration camps; how they survived with no money, feeding huge numbers of people with little to no food at all, and how they entertained themselves and kept hope alive. The books both left an impression, and the showed how life can change like that. Life goes so fast that you have to live it to the fullest before time ends.
Works Cited Page
Boom, Corrie, John L. Sherrill, and Elizabeth Sherrill. The hiding place,. Washington Depot, Conn.: Chosen Books; [distributed by Revell, 1971. Print.
Lowry, Lois. Number the stars. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1989. Print.
Shields, Jacqueline. "Denmark." Jewish Virtual Library - Homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. <http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Denmark.html>.
"The Netherlands." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005436>.