Krystyna’s Story by Halina Ogonowska Coates

In the novel Krystyna’s Story written by Halina Ogonowska-Coates an important event in the text is when the Soviet soldiers invaded a small village in Poland where krystyna’s family live. The Soviet soldiers ransacked their small farm, slaughter their animals and if they refused to do as asked they were abused and beaten. Then in the middle of the night Krystyna’s family were told they had thirty minutes to pack, and leave to a destination unknown.

This important event helped me understand the important ideas of dehumanization, stereotyping and survival. This important event helped me to understand the important idea of dehumanization, how the Russian soldiers treated innocent people, such as Krystyna’s family in such horrific inhuman ways for no apparent reason apart from the fact that they were Polish. Different from them so therefore they shouldn’t be treated as humans. “The officer seemed surprised to hear Marysia speaking.

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Perhaps he did not realize that we were living people whom he was loading on to the cart. ” This taught me that the soldier no longer thought of them as human beings. Only until Marysia spoke he realized that what he was doing wasn’t morally or humanely right. Therefore it was easier for him to imagine them as animals just being loaded on to a cart. When Marysia spoke, it brought him back to reality that yes they were really living breathing people that shouldn’t be treated this way.

This important event also helped me to understand the important idea of identity. In the war the Polish people were stereotyped as just another “filthy pole” stripping them of their individual identities and humanity. Marysia lost her identity completely after the traumatizing ideal of being raped by the Soviet soldiers she shut down, hardly spoke, and stopped being herself because she no longer knew the point in living, when everything around her was changing, the only thing that kept her going was her family. .. it was the look in her eyes that worried me the most. My sister Marysia seemed to have gone. An empty face stared up at me. It was the face of a stranger. ” This taught me that events good or bad have enormous effect on us both physically and mentally and that all events change us, most of the time so gradually over time that you hardly notices it, but sometimes you can change drastically in a short amount of time that you seem like a completely different person overnight.

This important event helped me to understand the important idea of survival, when the Russians removed Krystyna and her family from their home in the middle of the night and told them that they have thirty minutes to pack, and then leave to a destination unknown. Marysia and Feliks were thinking ahead of practical things that their family would need in order to survive such as food, cooking utensils, bedding and clothing. “For a minute or two it didn’t seem to matter that we were being dispossessed of our home and land.

The most important thing was that we were all together with our few possessions, whatever our destination. ” This made my think about what I would want to take if I was put into the same horrifying situation. I would want to take things that are special to me, something that would remind me of my childhood. Whereas my sister would be the responsible one and take things that would help us survive. Something useful, that would face whatever happens in the unknown future. What would you take?

In conclusion an important event in Krystyna’s Story written by Halina Ogonowska-Coates taught me how stereotyping, dehumanization and survival is unavoidable when it comes to war. I will never truly be able to understand how humans can treat other humans in such inhuman ways, dehumanize people and forget their morality. How war changes peoples identity and who they are as a person. Also how brave and adapting humans can be when they are put into terrible unimaginable circumstances such as war, where they will do and go through just about anything to survive.

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