Analysis of "Briar Rose" by Jane Yolen and linking it to poetry by Peter Skrzynecki

Essay by spudrickHigh School, 12th grade February 2004

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Title: Briar Rose

Creator/ Composer: Jane Yolen

Published: Tom Doherty Associates, November 1993

Text Type: Novel

Source: Library

Summary: A young woman, Rebecca, promises her dying grandmother that she will uncover her past, as she believes she is Briar Rose. Resultantly she becomes intent on honouring her word and begins thoroughly examining every lead, despite objections from family, she continues on in respect for her grandmother.

Following a tarnished paper trail Rebecca is lead towards the story of a woman she no longer recognises as her grandmother, but an unknown refugee called 'princess'.

Rebecca travels to Poland to find her Grandmothers last known address, but in search of Gemma's fairy tale castle she besieged by the realisation of the holocaust. Whilst speaking with a survivor of the time Rebecca realises that not only did he know Gemma, but he was the Prince she always spoke of. Josef began retelling his experiences and emotions of the time, he had escaped from his camp by luck, and joined two partisan groups and while exploring different areas amongst a mass grave they find a young woman, Gemma.

Gemma falls in love with one men and they are married, sadly soldiers had later ambushed them and killed all but Josef and Gemma. Now Rebecca had uncovered the secrets of her Grandmother she returns home knowing eventually the story ended happily ever after.


Briar Rose talks of many aspects of physical journey, being based around this one woman's journey to honour her grandma's wishes, there are many emotional and physical changes that occur as a result of the journey and not just to Rebecca.

The novel also uses a wide range of techniques to convey this message.

The novel expresses how others react to the idea of a physical journey. Rebecca had sworn...