Henne Fire Themes

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While Henne is the main character in Singer's story, the community plays a vital role, at times performing as a single entity with a single voice. The story is set in a very insular village in Poland before World War I, and it is told by one of Henne's neighbors. Although Singer refers to gentile characters a couple of times, the community in which Henne Fire lived seemed to be primarily Jewish. Everyone knows one another, and Henne is especially well-known throughout the village.

Singer depicts the villagers constantly attempting to mollify Henne's rage. After her husband left and she was unable to work, many people brought food to her house—"in a small town one is not allowed to starve," notes the narrator. Henne's actions and behavior deeply concerned the entire village, especially after her house burned to the ground and she had nowhere to live...

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This section contains 1,114 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Henne Fire Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Henne Fire from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.