Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944 Themes

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It is telling that Siegal begins her book with herself (as Piri) stranded in the rural farmland of Komjaty with Babi. As a child experiencing World War II, and with adults attempting to shelter her from the horrible truth, Piri is indeed isolated and disengaged from the world events causing so much turmoil. Much of Upon the Head of the Goat is filtered through Piri's perspective.

Because she is not allowed to listen to the war news on the radio or join in the adult conversations, Piri spends much of her time with her schoolmates or her brothers and sisters. However, Piri does eavesdrop on conversations, and she does get a sense—albeit a confused one—of the goings-on in Europe. In fact, Piri's chief emotion throughout much of the narrative is confusion. Adults are only partially successful in sheltering Piri from the...

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This section contains 725 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Upon the Head of the Goat: A Childhood in Hungary 1939-1944 Study Guide
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