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A Study of the Impact of the Holocaust on Nana and Her Family in I Love You, I Love You Not

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2012, 25(1), pp.169-188
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Hwang, Kyu Cheol 1

1중앙대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper aims at probing into the impact of the Holocaust on Nana and her family in the play. Nana’s storytelling on the Holocaust dramatizes the atrocities of the Nazis against the Polish Jews. Her storytelling is composed of oral testimonies and a fairy tale. The former describes the deportation of her family from a peaceful Polish village to the terrible Warsaw ghetto and, in the process, her separation from her girlfriend. The latter describes Nana and her two sisters’ escape from the Warsaw ghetto and being arrested in the vicinity of Gdańsk Bay by the Nazis and being deported to the Auschwitz camps. On the one hand, Daisy’s storytelling on her eventful relationship with a boyfriend and excessive anxiety over the German language test and its teacher is based on the lack of pride in her Jewish identity which originates from her excessive empathy for Nana’s stories on the Holocaust. In addition, Daisy’s role-playing in front of Nana reveals the intense image of the Holocaust when she assumes the role of the victimizer(Dr. Joseph Mengele). On the other hand, Daisy’s parents as off-stage characters approach Nana’s house in their car before and at the end of the play, make two phone calls to interfere with Nana’s way of nurturing Daisy, and, by doing so, create subtle tensions. Their separation from and reluctance to meet Nana, a Holocaust survivor, is not different from the Holocaust deniers’ claims. Therefore, I Love You, I Love You Not is an impressive and instructive play in that it induces readers/audiences to consider the effective dramatic devices for representing the Holocaust and the influence of the Holocaust on the Jewish identity.

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