Between Shades of Gray Part Two: Chapters 41-46 Summary & Analysis

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Between Shades of Gray

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Between Shades of Gray Part Two: Chapters 41-46 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 41 Summary

Weeks go by, and the commander has them woken every other night to sign the paper, but they continue to refuse.  During the long hours of waiting at gunpoint, Lina “allowed heart” (170).  She does this in order to escape the present and draw strength from this almost meditative state.  Eventually, however, some people give in and sign the document, including the grouchy woman.  Lina and her mother can tell who is likely to sign by the defeat on their faces, and while her mother tries to talk to them and give them hope, Lina draws their faces and writes down how they were pushed to their defeat.

Lina herself feels strengthened by her opposition to the NKVD.  She questions why anyone would give in to their tormentors and lose their self-respect.  After the grouchy women signs, screaming that she has to feed her daughters and that the rest of the hold-outs are “imbeciles” (171), they decide to take advantage of her decision and bribe her to mail their letters for them: now that she has signed the paper, she is allowed to visit the town. 

Chapter 42 Summary

Elena offers the grouchy woman a sterling silver serving piece to carry their letters for them and to bring back any news.  She accepts.  The bald man has already told them that Hitler drove Stalin out of Lithuania, but Lina wonders how he gets his information.  She remembers listening to her father talk with his colleagues about Stalin and Hitler and which one was worse, with her father’s Jewish friend Dr. Seltzer telling them about Hitler’s treatment of the Jews.

Chapter 43 Summary

One day, while they are working in the beet fields, Kretzsky comes to have Lina draw a map and copy a photograph in exchange for two cigarettes.  When they are in sight of others, Kretzsky is rough, but when they are alone, he leaves her alone.  Along the way, they run into two NKVD guards, one of whom points his lit cigarette at Lina’s face but stops before burning her.  Kretzsky…

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