Julia Book Report

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

How Far Can the Friendship go? In the book ¡°Julia¡±, adapted from a memoir "Pentimento" by the legendary American playwright Lillian Hellman, the deep and unusual friendship between the two life-long friends Lillian and Julia is the dominate motif which impenetrate from the prologue to the epilogue. ¡°Julia¡± is a story which took place in the years before the Second World War. In the book, the aristocratic anti-Nazi activist Julia helps various antifascist movements with her own wealth and persuades her dearest friend Lillian to make the dangerous journey to prewar Berlin in order to smuggle in $50,000 which will be used as bribe money for the release of unfairly imprisoned Jews, politicians, and private citizens who were endure the persecution from the Nazi Germany.

Julia, the central character of the book, was born in a super wealthy family. During the years she studied in Vienna, the voice calling for anti-Nazi became higher and higher and the World War¢òwas impending, with the belief to pursue world peace and oppose power politics, she devoted herself into the fascist resistance movement which was running around the whole Europe.

As for her intimate friend Lillian, a distinguished as a playwright, who was not in nature valorous enough was also involved in the movement in the '30s under the powerful influence of Julia.

The book ¡°Julia¡± puts great emphasis on the close relationship between those two people and how their love and trust bundle them together. In the book, the author gives many detailed descriptions about her anxiety and self-doubt on the train to Berlin. ¡°I was nervous and went in the wrong direction by the time a conductor told me where my compartment was, the train had left the station.¡±(Page 110) We all know that Hellman herself is a Jewish people and the threat to her is tremendous, what impelled her taking the risk to fulfill the mission given by Julia under the pressure? We can easily find the answers in the book, that¡¯s because they are loyal and trust each other. Julia wanted to teach her friend the way to fulfill a commitment and to face the problem and stick her own belief and Lillian would like to do anything for Julia even risk her neck.

Much information can be found in this book about the complicated love between them. ¡°In those years, and the years after Julia¡¯s death, I have had plenty of time to think about the love I had for her, too strong and too complicated to be defined as only the sexual yearnings of one girl for another. And certainly that was there.¡± When reading the book I had the feeling that although the relationship between Julia and Lillian to some extent had gone beyond the usual friendship but still it was not the lesbianism. They are the uncommon friendship. Here ¡°uncommon¡± I mean, somewhere in this book, the author does embody those in her book. The most evident part is that Lillian received a letter from Julia ¡°The letter had to do with Nazism and Germany, the necessity of a Socialist revolution throughout the world, that she had had a baby, and the baby seemed to like being called Lilly¡±. Furthermore, considering the safety of the baby; Julia decides to leave her baby to Lillian to rise. ¡° Maybe, when I come back for the leg, I will leave her with you. She shouldn¡¯t be in Europe. It isn¡¯t for babies now. You would be good for her¡± Nobody, I think, will name her own child after his friend and even leave her baby to her friend, even the ¡°good friend¡±.

When Julia and Lillian meet in Albert¡¯s, Julia herself had expressed to Lillian ¡°So believe that you have been better than a good friend to me.¡± Before they departed, ¡°She took my hand and raised it to her lips. ¡°My beloved friend.¡± These detailed descriptions symbolized their deepest sensibility between them.

Finish reading the book, I ask myself, to what extent the friendship can be developed? If I Were Lillian, whether I could do those things for my best friends? I admire Julia and Lillian¡¯s life-lasting friendship. But I think it will never happened on me, because Julia is so special and unique. This kind of friendship is infrequent. I thought the relationship between peoples is sometimes very complicated. I longing for a friend like Julia.