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Free Study Guide for The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

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THE HIDING PLACE STUDY GUIDE

SYMBOLISM / MOTIFS / METAPHORS / IMAGERY / SYMBOLS

1.) The ant living in the crack in floor in Corrie’s prison cell symbolizes strength.

2.) The light blue sweater Nollie sends Corrie symbolizes hope.

3.) The words Corrie rights on her prison wall after learning about Father’s death - Father. Released. - represent that his release was to God.

4.) The tulips planted around Lieutenant Rahms “office” hut were signs of hope to Corrie that she might find sympathy there.

5.) Lieutenant Rahms himself symbolizes despair in the face of evil.

6.) Jan Vogel, the collaborator who had betrayed the ten Booms to the Nazis, represents the deep hate Corrie feels for those who harmed her and the ones she loved, but he also represents her ability to forgive when later she recognizes the misery he must feel.


7.) The fleas that crawl through the straw at Ravensbruck represent God’s intervention. Because of them, the guards wouldn’t go in the barracks, and so Betsie and Corrie were able to hold Bible studies without the guards knowing.

8.) The worship services they held each night were attended by women of all faiths. Corrie called them little previews of heaven.

9.) When Corrie rewinds the old clock at the Beje after she gets out of prison, it symbolizes that time and life move on.


METAPHORS

There are also examples of metaphors which are direct comparisons made between characters and ideas:

1.) Father reads frequently from the Book of Isaiah about how God is our hiding place and our shield. This is a metaphor for what the Beje will become during the war.

2.) When Corrie asked as a child that father tell her about sex, he made her try to pick up his heavy suitcase on the train. When she couldn’t do it, he said that the same was true in life: there are some things to heavy for us to know until we are old enough to bear the burden. The heavy suitcase is a metaphor for the burdens of life.

3.) When Corrie experiences her first death of a poor little baby, she cries to Father that she doesn’t want him to die. He reminds her that when they travel together on the train, he never gives her a ticket until it’s time to board. He says that God does the same thing about death. He never makes us face it until the time is right, and then, he gives us the strength to bear it.

4.) This same metaphor appears when the family has to break the news to Tante Jans that she is going to die. Corrie said it is Father’s train ticket given at just the right time.

5.) When Corrie learns to play cards at Scheveningen Prison, she wonders why Father had always forbidden them in their home. But she soon comes to realize that the cards are like all temptations in life - they eventually will lead you down the wrong path.

6.) When Corrie is led into solitary at Scheveningen Prison, she describes it as a maze of corridors and passageways. This is a metaphor for how deeply alone she becomes in that prison; she’s lost in a maze from which she might never escape.

7.) The black ant who shares Corrie’s cell struggles to carry the pieces of bread she leaves for him into the crack on the floor. In this way, he is a metaphor for how we must face adversity - with strength and the determination to succeed.

 


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