Visual Essay Presentation: ashlynVisualEssay
Theme: Being diverse shouldn’t matter: It shouldn’t matter what religion someone believes in, what race you are, what you look like or who you’re friends with; everyone should be treated with equal respect.
Paragraph of Theme and Quote Explanation:
In ‘My Canary Yellow Star’ German soldiers are coming into Hungary, and making life extremely difficult for the Jewish people. They start with making them wear large yellow six pointed stars on their clothing so they can easily be identified. Things slowly become worse when they add a curfew that all Jewish citizens must follow, they have to move into specific ‘yellow star houses’, and can’t go to most stores or hold a steady job and obtain food. Eventually Jewish people are being beaten and killed, or deported to work camps. The German soldiers and Arrow Cross soldiers make it clear that they despise the Jewish. Marta is timid about the idea that the soldiers could hate a group of people just because of beliefs, but after encountering several incidents, she realizes it is true.
“Girls, always remember March 19th, 1944. This is a day of infamy in our country. The thunder outside these windows is the noise made by the approaching German army.” – Page 2 - I used this quote because it is basically when everything goes downhill for Jewish citizens, and things begin to change in a bad way. I associated this quote with the thunder clouds and lightening in my picture because it represents the darkness and chaos that the German soldiers brought along with them.
“Who is this Wallenburg?” –Page 80 – When Marta asks who Wallenburg is, she didn’t know he was an official from Sweden who gave Shultz- passes to Hungarians, with connections to Sweden who could change her family’s life and save them from the threats of the Germans by giving them a pass. I showed this in the poster with a picture of a Shultz-pass, as well as the Swedish flag around Marta (the girl in the poster) protecting and attempting to shield her from the storm coming; the German soldiers.
“But it isn’t safe anymore.” Page 219 – This is an important quote because it shows that the soldiers had gone far enough to make people believe even their home isn’t safe anymore. Your home is supposed to be the place where you feel safety and security. When it doesn’t feel that way, then there is a problem.
‘Survival’ – I used the word survival because it is something that all the Jewish citizens where struggling for. With the German army placing all those obstacles in front of them- torture, discrimination, curfews, punishment- it’s hard for them to survive.
“Judit and I stood as if hypnotized while young women rushed up to the marching soldiers and hugged and kissed them. A man in a beret proudly lifted his toddler and passed him into the extended arms of a tank commander.” –Page 4 – This quote is important because it shows how much the people of Hungary trusted them. A parent giving their child to a soldier to hold is basically allowing them to hold their world, and is a huge symbol of trust. (Not on the poster)
I am sick of being sensible.” Page 83 – When Marta said this, it showed how much she disagreed with what was happening around her, to the people she loved and herself. It was basically her saying that she didn’t care anymore, that she is going to be judged by whatever she does, and there is a risk of getting into trouble with everything she does. She might as well do things she will enjoy and be careful about it instead of sitting around depressed because of the events taking place.
‘Rebellion’ – I used the word rebellion because it works with Marta’s attitude. She wasn’t going to sit around and take what wasn’t deserved; she tried her hardest to make the best of a horrible situation. To represent her rebellious personality, I put her in front of a huge crowd to show that she isn’t afraid to stand out and speak up.
“They were both dead.” Page 217 – This is a big part in the novel, when her best friend Peter get’s shot and killed trying to save her Aunt from being shot. Unfortunately, they were both killed by the bullet. I put the quote in the picture because it represents all the people she cared about who died- her Grandmother, Aunt, and Peter- either doing something brave, or taking a stand for what they believe in. In my poster, the grave stone represents this.
‘Friends’- I used the word friends because when the German soldiers took over, Marta learned who her true friends where, the ones who stuck with her even though a whole nation was saying it was wrong.
“I ran and ran until I had no breath left to run any longer.” Page 80 –This symbolizes all how Marta felt throughout the book. She was always running away from people who didn’t like who she was.
‘Adversity’ – Adversity is one of the main words that go with the theme of the book. Before the German soldiers came and said how horrible being Jewish supposedly was, everybody got along with each other. But after the German soldiers came, they suddenly thought the people they lived around most of their life were criminal. They showed their true nature in a time of adversity.
“I was as frightened and confused as she was.” Page 2 – This shows how many of the Jewish people felt during this whole book. Frightened because of what the soldiers were doing and trying to accomplish, and confused because they had no clue as to why they would do something like that, when they had done nothing to deserve it.
“Where should we go now?” Page 219 – This shows how they suddenly had everything taken away from them, and had absolutely no place to go. They didn’t have a home anymore, and they’re closest friends and family had been killed.
‘Dignity’ – It is what was taken away from all the Jewish when the German soldiers came.
‘Diversity’ – Diversity ties together the whole book. These people were punished for being different, when it shouldn’t matter how and why you are different. What should matter is the person themselves, not the group they’re with, the race they are, or in the book’s case, the religion they believe in.
I put a gun with an army hat to show that there is war happening in the book, and is a big reason why the Jewish are being harmed. There is a map from the German army linked from Germany to Hungary to show that Hungary was where they were targeting, and Poland is crossed off because they had already been there. She is wearing a six point star because that is the first thing the Germans made them do is wear a large yellow star, and it is a way they were separated from a crowd and it’s an essential part of the story. She’s holding a necklace with a six pointed star because it belonged to her grandmother who she greatly admired, and who died for standing up for herself, and her religion, and what she believed in.
Quotes and Personal Statements:
“Who is this Wallenburg?” –Page 80
“But it isn’t safe anymore.” Page 219
“Girls, always remember March 19th, 1944. This is a day of infamy in our country. The thunder outside these windows is the noise made by the approaching German army.” – Page 2
“Judit and I stood as if hypnotized while young women rushed up to the marching soldiers and hugged and kissed them. A man in a beret proudly lifted his toddler and passed him into the extended arms of a tank commander.” –Page 4
“I am sick of being sensible.” Page 83
“They were both dead.” Page 217
“I ran and ran until I had no breath left to run any longer.” Page 80
“I was as frightened and confused as she was.” Page 2
“Where should we go now?” Page 219