The Turning- Art saves lives
In the novel The Turning by Gloria Whelan, a young ballerina named Tanya fights through a changing Russia during the 1980s. The people of Russia maintain their stability through art. Art is what allows people to live and express themselves. In Tanya’s case ballet is her true escape. For others, like Tanya’s love interest Sasha, painting is a source of happiness.

For Tanya, ballet is her life. Ballet is what she eats, sleeps, and breathes to keep from getting caught up in the fact that Soviet Russia is crumbling to pieces. Tanya practices from sun up to sun down to make it into the ballet [[#|company]] who will tour in Paris. She even plans to defect to Paris. Ballet, her art form, really is an escape. She plans to escape an oppressive society that is filled with poverty.
However, ballet doesn’t only lead Tanya [[#|away]] from her country. Art also leads Tanya closer to her nationalistic side. While traveling in Moscow, before taking a plane to Paris, Tanya becomes caught the Parliament Building during a riot. This experience makes Tanya realize that she has a duty to her country. Russia has made her the great ballerina she is, and by leaving she will only bring disgrace upon herself instead. Dance is what makes Tanya realize that she could do the impossible to help improve her country.

Tanya is not the only one whose art changes their lives. Tanya’s best friend and love interest, Sasha, also has an art that takes him [[#|away]] from his absolute poverty. His paintings are beautiful and insights wonder from the locals. But because Sasha is an artist he has no money, and must [[#|buy medicine]] for his grandmother on the black market. His love for the ability to paint leads him to accidentally sell his grandmothers precious heirloom, a painting, to a greedy Englishman. Sasha’s art teaches him that [[#|in Russia art]] is all the people have left. It is the only part of their history worthy of keeping.

Natalia, a young girl that Tanya teaches ballet, has her life saved by ballet. Natalia father is a soldier out of work. He is an abusive alcoholic who drinks until he passes out. Natalia winds up in an orphanage that Tanya frequently visits. Natalia instantly has a talent for dance, and it is ballet that takes her away from her unhappy life. Dance eventually helps Natalia escape from Leningrad to Moscow with a dance troop, so that her father can no longer find her or sell her for money. Art is a life changer for some people in destitute situations. It allows problems to fade into the background.

Art is the only thing that the people of Russia have. The art is allows the expression is what allows them to have a say in their country. They are proud of their art. For some it is a symbol of their ties to Russia. For others, art is an escape or a place to hide from the worlds mayhem. So whether it be dancing or painting in the novel, art allows people to [[#|survive]] and ever changing country.



Parade of Shadows- Love is lesson well learned
In the novel Parade of Shadows by Gloria Whelan a blossoming relationship adds to a messy tangle of lies and deceit. The main character Julia falls in love while traveling with her father. However, the boy she falls for has a secret agenda. The love grows and both characters become more three dimensional. The development of their love shapes events that occur and the relationships with other characters.
Julia first meets Graham on a boat headed for Syria. Their connection is almost instant. She adores the attention that he gives her, finding that she craves it once he is gone. Julia only thinks about seeing him. She is intrigued by the mysterious feeling he leaves her with. She needs him.

The need to have Graham near her causes a strain between Julia and her father. Carlton Milton, her father, is on “business” in Syria. Graham, however, is trying to start a revolution for the independence of those under Turkish reign. Mr. Milton feels challenged by Graham and is frequently trying to prevent Julia and Graham from spending time together. Julia continues to defy her father and break away for the first time. The blossoming romance teaches Julia that is strong and independent. This can also be seen through a conversation between Graham and Julia. “Men like you father colonize their women just as eagerly as they colonize countries” (Whelan 69). Julia comes to understand that she has always sat by idly allowing her father to make her decisions. When Graham points this out, Julia chooses to think for herself.

When Julia becomes close with Graham her relationship with other characters. Edith, a botanist, goes so far as to trap Julia and her father in the desert without help, so that she can alert the authorities to Graham’s agenda. Julia is seen a young and foolish girl for being involved with Graham. No one takes her seriously and she must prove that she is her own person, while still courting the boy she is in love with. Her relationship tests her ability to choose what is right.

The gradual change of the relationship escalates as the novel unfolds. Julia finds herself fearing for Graham’s life when he is arrested by the Turkish government. She finds courage and goes to the Turkish government herself. She even stands up to her father on the subject of wanting to love Graham.Julia becomes brave to save the boy she has come to feel for immensely. She learns to fight for what she wants and not be decided for.

The relationship that is developed in the novel, shapes the other relationships around Julia. The other characters judge her on the fact that she trusts Graham. The fact that Julia begins to show an attraction to Graham causes a strain between Julia and her father. Julia learns to stand up for herself. She becomes a fighter who is strong and independent. The romance that builds throughout the novel teaches Julia about herself and ultimately guides her to who she really is.