What if you were stripped of your identity and past and forced to be someone else
What if you were stripped of your identity and past and forced to be someone else? In the novel Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf a young girl named Milada lives in Lidice, Czechoslovakia. Her family along with others are asked to leave their homes in the middle of the night by Nazi soldiers. She gets seperated from her family and gets sent to Poland along with others who have blonde hair and blue eyes to learn how to be a future German girl. There she gets renamed Eva, taught to speak only German and gets adopted by a German family. Throughout her whole journey Milada tries to remember who she is and where she came from. The author uses inner thinking, description, and dialogue to build suspense, and to show that Milada is trying to not forget who she really is. One might say that the author isn’t trying to build suspense but is trying to raise the stakes however the evidence proves that it gets the reader’s thinking about what’s going to happen next.
First of all, Wolf uses inner thinking to show that Milada is trying not to forget her real name or where she comes from. Durring her time spent with the Nazi’s she often repeats her name in her head over and over again during the night to not forget. In the text it says “Milada. My fingers touched my sweet name. Milada. The name that belonged to my grandmother and her mother before her. Milada there it was, lovely and pure and real… Milada, Milada, Milada. I promised” (Wolf 78). Despite the Nazi’s trying to brainwash these girls into forgetting their true selves Milada is desperately trying to not forget because she made that promise to her grandmother. She still wants to remember her past because it’s who she really is. This builds suspense because readers will want to know if Milada will actually keep her promise and remember her name or if the Nazi’s words will get into her head.
Moreover, Wolf uses description to show that Milada remembers all of the wonderful times she had with her family and doesn’t want to forget these special times because she knows that after the war things will never be the same. The author writes “One hot summer day Papa and Jaro had appeared at the window as I started practicing… I needed no further prompting and climbed out the window into the arms of Papa and Jaro. We spent the next hour sitting in the field, watching the clouds and chewing wheat gum…Tears began to roll down my face as I thought of my time with Jaro and Papa” (Wolf 64). This shows that Milada can describe vividly about that one day with her father and brother because this hot day reminds her of them. She is trying to remember times before the Nazi’s came and tore her family apart, and before she could be herself. Not some “perfect” German girl. This description builds suspense because it helps the reader experience a more emotional influence.
At last, Wolf uses dialogue to show that when Milada and and her family were taken from her house, her grandmother told her something that Milada would remember throughout the war. In the novel it says “No, Milada… You must keep this and remember… Remember who you are, Milada. Remember where you are from. Always” (Wolf 17-18). This shows that Milada’s grandmother is telling her to be true to herself and to not forget who she is and where she’s from because she has a feeling that the Nazi’s have something up their sleeves .This helps build suspense because it makes the readers wonder what will happen in the future. Why does Milada have to remember?
To sum up, Joan M. Wolf has found a few ways to use author’s craft like inner thinking, description, and dialogue in concealed ways to entertain and inform the readers. She uses inner thinking to show that Milada doesn’t want to forget who she is. She applies description because it shows that Milada is remembering a time before the war and wants to go back. She also uses dialogue to show that MIlada shouldn’t forget herself. These three writing techniques show how the author builds suspense by getting the reader’s thinking about what will or is happening in the novel.