A Woman in Jerusalem
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The story under analysis is A Woman in Jerusalem written by A.B. Yehoshua. This is a story of a woman named Yulia who died in the city of Jerusalem and whose body became a symbol of something new to all the people of the city and to other characters of the story. The action develops around the dead Yulia and leads a reader to the final of it that was significant for all the people who inhabited Jerusalem. The author used a body of a dead woman as a symbol and the reader comes to the main idea reading the story till the end.
The author discloses the main idea of the story through the way of consequent description of attitudes of people towards Yulia. This idea suggests that people can develop and bring out all the best that they have . This goes for the bakery owner who experiences admiration and this quality becomes evident and reachable for the rest of the characters.
The body of a woman, killed in a terrorist attack in downtown Jerusalem, then lying for several days in the morgue. Who is she? Why no one comes to recognize her? All these questions an employee of Jerusalem bakery unexpectedly have to figure and lead acomplicated way of investigation, full of mysterious twists and turns. This investigation leads him from Jerusalem to a distant snowy country. But the biggest surprise was waiting for him at the end of this road.
The main character of the novel is the head of Jerusalem’s bakery staff, tries to put out a scandal that threatens the reputation of his company. Yulia Rogaeva was a foreign worker and worked as a cleaner in a bakery. Her dead body was lying unrecognized till the moment a journalist, having rummaged in her bag, found a payment order from the bakery. After that he wrote a scathing article accusing the company’s management of inhumanity and disregard for their staff. At the insistence of the host bakery personnel, an officer accompanies the body of Julia Rogaeva to her home, - to the poor and snowy Christian-Muslim country with a socialist past, where it would be buried by her son and mother. The human resources employee falls in love with a dead woman, and in the end he becomes superior in generosity and thoroughness of his mission purpose, which he considered unnecessary at first.
The discussion of the novel makes a focus on its social and political significance. First, it touches here a theme of foreign workers and illegal immigrants. Secondly, he draws attention to the problem of anonymous and mass death. It is noteworthy that all the living characters in the novel are anonymous including an employee, old man, journalist and others. The only person, called by the name is the dead woman. As stated by the author in an interview, in Israeli society they have learned to honor the memory of heroically fallen soldiers since the Independence War. But mechanisms of mourning and reflection of deaths of civilians and ordinary people who were killed in terrorist attacks is still completely undeveloped. The problem of Palestinian terrorism that was the initial reason of the accident Yehoshua does not discuss.
The body of Yulia symbolizes a thrive of people to become better and the author accentuates the fact that they managed to change not their physical perception of the situation and their mind set in general. The author touches the most tender and thin characteristics of a personality that are more related to the presence of soul and its behavior of all the people and the population of Jerusalem, in particular.