Siege of Leningrad
The siege of Leningrad began on September 8, 1941 as a part to rush to Moscow and Germany violating the Soviet non aggression pact. The Germans encircled the city cutting off food supplies. Food rations were cut to a third of what an adult should have. According to Anna Adreievna she was too weak to walk because the lack of food, if she did walk they had to take breaks. In addition people were dying everywhere, the residents had to walk over bodies in the street. In the city food was very scarce, Major Lozak had to give his parents part of his officers ration because they were old, but he also needed the food. Once the Russian winter came into effect it did bring one positive trait, lake Ladoga froze which allowed trucks to bring food into Leningrad.
When running down the stairs to find their German solider falling from they sky they took the risk of falling and breaking a bone from falling on a concrete step with no muscle or fat to break the fall. The muscle or fat would have been existent if the food wasn't so scarce for Lev and Vera (pg 13). Lev, Vera, and the twins were so desperate for food they ate a half an onion split 4 ways with their daily ration of bread with sunflower oil for a meal, they ate to the extreme measures to ensure their very survival (pg 11). In their free time they were hunting rats, their hunger was so extreme they resulted to hunting rats for food, an animal thats considered a rodent, gross, and disgusting (pg 10)
The Russian cold was miserable. The fire crew was forced to bundle up in all the possible clothing to stay warm on their shift (pg 11). Lev's fingers were still very cold even though he had mittens on to prevent it. Also in order to stay warm at Sonya's apartment the doctors had to clump together to conserve body heat. As well in the shack, all 35 of them in the shack, they went to the extreme to stay warm, some people might not feel comfortable doing with strangers.
Lev experienced hardships for the cannibalism because he does not have the physical strength to take him on, but since Koyla was their he fought them off while Lev ran down the stairs. Also the hardships with the struggle inside the room when the giant tries to attack them as well as the wife, escaping, running for blocks and blocks until that apartment was out of sight. Especially getting away, that was hard on them( pg 60). Also when thy were going up the stair Lev was out of breath while the giant had no problem probably because of all the human he ate, but he didn't know that is was a canniblist at that time(pg 58).
Journal # 1: Hunger
During the siege Vera cut half an onion for them to eat, eating things not particularly considered a "meal"."Vera had found half an onion somewhere; she cut it into four pieces on a plate smeared with sunflower oil" (pg 11). Also they ate bread that did not taste like bread, the Germans bombed the grain factories. "When the onion was gone, we mopped the oil with our ration bread" (pg 11). They we're so hungry they were forced to eat the only thing remotely close to a meal because their hunger was so extreme. In addition they had hunted rats as final resort for food because most other food besides their rations was diminishing (pg 11).
City of St. Petersburg also known as Piter
Before the War
Before the war there were 1100 people lived in his Kirov (pg 8).
During the War
"The Germans had decided rushing the city would be to costly, so instead they encircled, intending to starve us out, bomb us out, and burn us out" (pg 8). It could be to costly for the Germans because the Russians would never give up so they decided to lock the city down so no food would get in and they would starve them out. "After months of bombing we could identify various German planes by the pitch of their engines"(pg 8). Months of bombing would have been a cautostrapic loss to buildings, the buildings would have many been destroyed.
Post war their was a lot less people then when the war started, even when the evacuees came back. Then Restaurants opened back up although money was scarce in the city for it to be spend on food. Then boys would walk back from school (pg 256, 8).
During the War
Journal #2- Emotional & Physical Challenges
The physical challenges were Lev playing chess with Aberdnoth because of the tension in the room and he could have killed them any second. Also when they made the move to kill them, earlier in the book he even said "I don't think I could kill him". It took him to perseverance to kill him. Another thing is the dog could barley walk around, only his front two legs were operational, it was hard in the snow. In addition Zoya didn't have the physical means of surviving when she ran away from the farmhouse. She couldn't fend for herself so she pretty much quit while the German came for her. The emotional challenges were especially tragic for Koyla and the sheepdog. Koyla has a admiration for dogs, he has even written a poem about the courtyard hound, when he dies and is so attached to it he buries it when he hasn't been out of his apartment for years. When he see the sheepdog he feels really bad for it and killed it with Lev's knife. In addition was killing a human being, he said before he didn't know how he was going to kill him. Also for Zoya when she has to watch her feet get cut off and can't really do anything about it, then her friends are made to watch this poor girl get her feet cut off. Then after that they try to stop the bleeding and can't do anything about it and they really tried save her but had to live they couldn't save her.
Lev experienced many physical and emotional challenges that contributed to becoming a man. The physical and emotional challenges contributed to becoming a man because he realized he had to push on and become man when he sees the sheepdog.