Gail Carson  Levine
Symposium 2001
Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, MA
Adriana Grasso
"Gail Carson Levine: Dreams Come True"
"Migration of Jewish Immigrants to the United States"

“You need a King, a friend. If you share your burden, all will be well.” In Dave at Night, the underlining theme in author Gail Carson Levine’s novel’s can be viewed as sharing a burden with friends. The characters in all of Gail Carson Levine’s novels are mistreated in a certain way. To overcome their mistreatment, one or more confidants help them get through their hardships. The symbolic characters in her stories share similar situations such as mistreatment from another character in the novel, someone to help them cope, and a happy ending, which concludes in the character’s dreams coming true. Most of these protagonists overcome the metaphorical obstacles faced in their original fairy tales. In Ella Enchanted, Dave at Night, The Wish, Princess Sonora and the Long Sleep, and The Fairy’s Mistake the main characters overcome their mistreatment with the help of their friends. While in middle school, Levine participated in writing clubs, which led her to pursue her dream of writing retold fairy tales. She was raised and taught by her parents in New York, as a Sephardic Jew.

In the seventeenth century, Sephardic Jews began a migration period from Brazil to the New World in the hope of finding better living and occupational opportunities. In 1654, twenty-three Sephardic refugees were the first wave of immigrants to North America to what is now Manhattan. The lives of many of the Sephardic Jews and Ashkenazim Jews such as Russian, and Austrian and Hungarian, changed drastically in the new environments. Their struggles spanned the 1920s prosperity, the Great Depression, World War II and the Holocaust.

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