Women Empowerment In The Novel The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah

July 14, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Nightingale is about two sisters living in German-occupied France, which demonstrated that women possess magnificent power moreover, women can do everything men can do, plus more.

There is a really good quote about women which describes The Nightingale: “Men fight wars. Women win them”. The story challenged the theory of women staying unprepared to join the battle. Isabelle and Vianne were particularly great examples of what women can achieve. One instance that shows, Isabelle protecting veterans and assisting them to pass Pyrenees mountains from France to Spain. Another example is Vianne safeguarding the Jewish children and settling them into a shelter rather than settling them in army camps where they ultimately die.

In a small town of Carriveau, Vianne says goodbye to her spouse, Antoine, who was heading towards the Front. She doesn’t assume that the Nazis will attack France. While the Nazi soldiers marched towards the city in crowds, accompanied by trucks and tanks, and planes that were filled with drop bombs. When a German officer requisitions Vianne’s home, Vianne and her daughter had two options, live with the foeman or lose everything they had. Without food or money or hope, as the danger increases all around them, she was forced to make one inconceivable decision after another to keep her family alive. Vianne described the war by saying:

“Men tell stories. Women get on with it. For us, it was a shadow war. There were no parades for us when it was over, no medals or mentions in history books. We did what we had to during the war, and when it was over, we picked up the pieces and started our lives over.”

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is an obstinate 18-year-old girl, seeking for hope. While thousands of Parisians march into the untold horrors of the war, she meets a guy, Gäetan. A supporter who thinks the French can fight the Nazis, she falls in love with him, but he cheats her and breaks her heart. Isabelle decides to join the French Resistance and never looks back, endangering her life, to save hundreds of other peoples.

The surrender of France to Germany in 1940 damaged the pride of the nation. French citizens felt let down by the government and further angered by the Nazi collaborating with the Vichy government that emerged. And because of anti-Semitic Nazi leader Hitler, Jews were a minor race, a threat to German community, Hitler’s solution was Holocaust. Which was a mass killing center created in army camps of occupied Poland.

Approximately 6 million Jews and millions of other communities were killed. Resistance soon took place, in different ways after Charles de Gaulle encouraged the fight to continue after impending German occupation. Groups such as the Maquis were men and women who avoided Vichy Frances forced labor by hiding in the mountains, they used violent means and guerrilla warfare tactics attacking the Malisse and the Germans occupiers and sabotaging their communication lines and vehicles. Other resistance groups used nonviolent tactics published anti-Vichy underground newspapers and broadcasting radio programs. For example. Isabella used to sneak out and put newspaper on people’s porches. During World War II, people used to believe women cannot be war heroes, but Isabella “Andrée de Jongh” proved them wrong just like other women in the resistance, and women like Vianne who rescued Jewish children and her Jewish friend Rachel.

Kristin Hannah got the idea for her bestselling novel The Nightingale several years ago, when she was researching about, Winter Garden, which was set in Russia during World War II, while she read women’s war stories, she came across the true story of a 19-year-old Belgian women who created escape route out of Nazi-occupied France. Her name was Andrée De Jongh and her story, “one of heroism and loss and unbridled courage.” Her story was magnificent, mesmerizing, and perhaps most important never heard, which inspired her to write The Nightingale.

Kristin Hannah takes the vast spectacle of World War II and ornaments a special part of history occasionally seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale reveals the stories of two sisters who have been set-apart for years and involvement, goals, enthusiasm, and destiny, each starting on her treacherous path toward endurance, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly wonderful novel that honors the resilience of the human life and the strength of women.

The figures in The Nightingale are not real characters, though amazingly, some of the claims by the author are based on actual historical people. Isabelle’s departure across the Pyrenees for downed Confederated pilot was based on 19-year-old Andrée de Jongh, a Belgian woman who accommodated pilots including other people. Just like Isabelle, de Jong individually accompanied several people across the Pyrenees on foot; at the end of the battle, she had rescued 118 soldiers.

A famous quote by Kristin Hannah states, “Ask for help when you need it and give help when you can.” Also, like Isabelle, de Jongh was apprehended later in the battle and sent to the Ravensbrüc army camp rather than administered, as the Nazis repudiate her contention that she was the coordinator of the route. However, de Jongh lived long after the war, becoming a noblewoman in 1985 and ultimately dying in 2007, whereas in the novel Isabelle dies because of health issues.

During WWII women were not allowed to vote, they were not given equal rights as men, women were considered weak. But women’s like Andrée de Jongh, Susan Travers, Eileen Nearne and many more, proved this wrong, by fighting in the war, protecting children’s, and showing as equal strength has men, by fighting beside them. Has shown in The Nightingale, Vianne protecting the Jewish children and settling them in a shelter, and Isabelle protecting veterans and assisting them to pass Pyrenees mountains. And they’re a lot of other great examples that showed in The Nightingale about women power.


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