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The Courageous Acts of Irena’s Children: A Literary Exploration

Works of literature have always portrayed the feelings of characters through their inner reactions. Additionally, literature has always emphasized bringing out the inner self of characters. Culture and literature are deeply interrelated, and both have a strong relationship with each other; throughout the years, literature has embodied culture. Moreover, literature is an expression of culture and society, representing people’s ideas and dreams set in a specified time and space and designed to inspire in an imaginary way. Literature explains a community, its troubles and good ethics; to depict this, Tillar Mazzeo tells an incredible story of a brave, courageous woman with the goodwill to save her community in the text, “Irena’s Children.” This essay aims to analyze the character of Irena Sendler and how the character’s experiences and actions connect to culture.

Undoubtedly, literature has never eliminated the confidences, stances, and ideals of society because most writers are usually aware of the world around them. Literature is a simulation of human action and portrays what people think and how they act in society. In most literature books, we often find characters who, by their actions and words express the beliefs of the society. Culture brings people together, which is what literature materials depict, as seen in Irena’s Children by Mazzeo. Irena Sendler is one of the protagonists in the text who portrays a selfless individual in the society by saving 2500 children from the Warsaw Ghetto. Irena risks her life to save the children; as culture dictates, with the help of ghetto residents, her star-crossed lover, and local tradespeople, Irena smuggles the children past the Nazis (Mazzeo, 10). Though dangerous, Irena is brave enough to slip the children through secret passages secretly.

Similarly, Anne is a superhero because she overcomes all her childhood struggles. Living in a time of great holocaust, Anne is depicted as a superhero who, through her humility, emerged a victor over the Nazis. Anne and her family hid from the Nazis for two years, and hence Anne had no the privilege to go out and experience life as other families have. Anne demonstrated her courage through hiding, something that most Jews could not have done (Frank). Anne shows great epic traits throughout her entire life. Moreover, Irena and Anne’s characters depict courageous members of a society who have an obligation to protect each other; that is what the culture demands of them.

Inarguably, cultures are built in works of literature; reading literature is not just learning the literary works but also understanding how the world runs and operates. Through works of literature, individuals get the privilege to know how people connect and the complexity of these relationships. Additionally, literature does not depict these relationships in society as perfect but also shows imperfections. Mazzeo does not portray an all-perfect character but also displays a stubborn and imperfect Irena. In the story, Irena does not commit to her husband, just as some women in society do. With this, literature aims to show the complexity of these human relationships in society. Despite these imperfections, Irena stands out for doing justice to the innocent kids (Mazzeo, 30).

Compared to “The Diary of Anne Frank,” Anne shows human courage to fight for herself despite her imperfections. Though she has a poor relationship with her father, Anne is a courageous young girl aspiring to be a writer. In the book, Anne mentions that “Some of the best days in our life have not happened yet” (Frank). For this reason, Anne believes that she has the power to change things over time. The aim of literature, then, is to encourage members of society to stand out despite their imperfections. At the cost of her comfort, Irena risks her life to save others, as culture dictates.

To sum up, culture and literature go hand in hand; literature reflects society. Characters in works of literature behave and act about their cultural beliefs, values, and customs. Society has different personalities and ideas revealed in literature booand F of literaturerank, in their works of literature, demonstrate courageous characters who fight all odds to protect society. However, these characters face manyllenges, but they do not let these imperfections take control of their lives. The society is made up of these people.

Work Cited

Frank, Anne. The diary of a young girl. The Eastern Publishing Company, 1994

Mazzeo, Tilar J. Irena’s children: the extraordinary story of the woman who saved 2,500 children from the Warsaw ghetto. Simon and Schuster, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2023, from


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