Briar Rose #3

To get the discussion started, Stan tells Becca “What’s past is prologue.” This is a famous Shakespearian quote. Without googling, what do you think it means?


123 responses to “Briar Rose #3

  1. Brooke Holland

    The famous quote, “What’s past is prologue” means what happened in the past is a prologue. This means that is is used for the beginning of a piece of literature or art. History is used in literature, reminding people of something important that happened in life, whether it effected the world positively or negatively. History creates the framework for stories, just adding on to it. Shakespeare uses this quote, because he uses historical ideals within his plays. This is my definition of this quote, and what it means to stan when he uses it.

    • Amanda McGahhey

      This is a good start to what the famous quote, “What’s past is prologue” means that Gemma’s past is just Becca’s beginning. Gemma left a path for Becca to follow and find out more about Gemma’s past. So like you said it creates the framework for stories, and Becca will just add on to it.

      • Greg Cornish

        “What’s past is prologue” is a quote that is so small but holds much meaning. Gemma is giving Becca a path to follow with her discoveries, but at the same time, is Gemma misleading Becca in hopes she will go off into her own path and discover something bigger and better?

    • Dallas Yost

      Very well put Brooke. History is a big part in everything we do. Obviously like you said it is used for literature such as writing stories, and Shakespeare used it to write his plays. Also a good point you made was that history effects everything we do positively or negatively. For instance what happens in the past is known as your history and it determines your future. “What’s past is prologue” is a famous quote and deservingly so.

    • Bethany Lortcher

      LIterature is full of history and important facts and details that made the world go round. In Briar Rose the book is based around the holocaust. This was a major time in our world’s history. In the book she is discovering her grandmother’s past just like Stan discovered who is birth mom was. Becca is searching to go to the extermination camp where she thinks her grandmother was held. This adds more history of Gemma’s background but also more history on the holocaust as well.

      • Dayna Blair

        I agree that it was a major time in our world’s history. Becca searching to go to the extermination to find out more about her Gemma’s past shows that she is very interested in learning more about her grandma. The promise that Becca makes with her Gemma before she dies is very important to Becca and that is why she going this far to keep the promise she made with her grandmother before she past away.

      • Izzy Tennant

        Literature is full of history, you are correct about that. And I have always been told that history repeats itself. This had a big impact on the world and will forever be talked about. This does add more history and I do think that Becca going to this camp is just what she needs to figure out things about Gemma and to see the hell that Gemma went through while she was there.

    • Sabrina Collins

      History is used in literature, we see this in Briar Rose. Briar Rose has a lot to do with the holocaust and we are just seeing that. I believe that Gemma was in Fort Oswego and in Kulmholf, even though Harvey said no woman made it out alive, because I think she is Gitl. They are the same height, roughly the same weight because the Gitl was pregnant at the time, they had the same hair color, eye color, Becca’s mother was born August 30, 1944 and the document said that Gitl was due any day. Becca has all of these clues that she needs to put together, find out what they mean and how they relate to Gemma.

  2. Brooke Holland

    I feel like Stan and Becca’s relationship has changed, starting after their time spent together looking for answers about Gemma’s hidden past. It seems as if they are starting to have feelings for each other, but don’t want to show one another. This may be the reason why they have become distant, trying to be more professional.

    • Carrie Holbrook

      I feel like the reason they became so distant is because like Stan said about the search for his mother, he felt as if it were his job to find her and that only he alone could do so. With this being said I believe Stan is realizing that Becca is at that point where she needs to do it by herself to really find the answers and that maybe he feels as if he has done all that he can to help her on her way.

      • Dallas Yost

        I feel the same way you do Carrie. Stan is looking for his mother so maybe he does not have enough time anymore. Another good point you made is when you said maybe he feels like he has done all he can. I feel like he could be feeling that way as well. To go back to what Brooke said maybe they do have feelings for one another that is definitely a possibility. I feel they do or are going to but I guess we will have to wait and see for sure.

      • Anna Hintz

        Becca took Stan’s advice about trying to find more about Gemma alone, since that is the way he found his mother. This might get her to figure out more information and more answers this way. Even though they are both starting to develop feelings for each other, they are realizing that finding Gemma’s past is more important right now.

    • Greg Cornish

      Becca and Stan’s relationship has changed. As time progresses, I feel as if the professional attitude will begin to fade away. They are trying to hide it as much as possible right now, but as time moves on, I think it will be very difficult for both Stan and Becca to carry on a professional attitude.

    • Nicole Leporati

      I just posted about Stan and Becca’s relationship! I feel the same exact way. It’s really hard for me to determine where their relationship is going to go from here. Ultimately, I feel like they will not end up together simply because neither of them want to make a move on each other for fear of rejection or maybe even a fear of ruining a friendship.

    • Michael Jenny

      I do see a personal connection between Becca and Stan. I feel like Becca has more feelings for Stan, then he has for her. Becca’s feelings might of made her get off topic at work, so because of this I think Stan is acting more like a boss. In the end I hope that Becca and Stan maybe able to have a personal relationship after she is done with her journey.

    • Sabrina Collins

      I feel they have become distant not only because of the fact they both have feelings for each other, but the fact that after Stan helped her find clues about Gemma and made it seem like he was doing it for Becca, all he was doing it for was a good story.

  3. Carrie Holbrook

    I think that the quote “Past is Prologue” means that everything that happened in the past is just as important as what is happening now. Everything in Gemma’s past is important, it tells you where she came from what she has done with her life, what she was like before Becca was even in her life. It tells her story since she didn’t tell anyone anything about her not even her name. I also think that now that Becca has met Magda that the search will go smoother and quicker. Near the end of chapter 18, Becca seems to have been renewed with her search as if she has found some kind of positive energy and I believe a lot of that comes from how optimistic and upbeat Magda is.

  4. Nicole Leporati

    Amanda, I really admire what you said about Gemma’s past being Becca’s beginning! I thought about this quote for a good fifteen minutes and I just could not figure out what it could have meant. It was driving me crazy. Another thing I would to point out is the relationship between Stan and Becca and how much closer they are getting. Do you guys think that they will end up in a more intimate relationship or that they will continue a professional business relationship?

    • Brooke Holland

      I think they will end up in a more intimate relationship after Becca finds out the truth about Gemma’s past, like Carrie kind of said. Then after that she will be able to move on with her life, like Stan had done after finding his birth mother. They have a connection, which is obvious, and I believe it will become more than a professional relationship later on in the book.

  5. Stephen Goetz

    Stan and Becca are talking and Becca says, “Fairy tales always have a happy ending.” Stan Replies with “That depends on whether you are Rumplestiltskin or the Queen.” I don’t really understand what this means.

    • Rumplestiltskin is a character in a fairy tale who basically gets outsmarted by the queen. In the end, the queen wins and lives happily ever after, unlike him. So when Stan says this, he means that it depends who you are in the fairy tale as to whether it ends happily or not.

  6. Paige Brown

    I was just thinking about that as I read last nights assignment, Brooke. Stan and Becca have gotten closer because of Gemma’s hidden past. I think this is because Stan had searched for his biological mother and knows exactly what Becca is going through and struggling with also. Because of his struggling, he’s going to try to help Becca out with everything as much as he possibly can.

  7. Noah Dotson

    Did anyone else notice that every time it flashes back in time to when Becca was younger that we learn a little bit more about Becca every time?

    • Zeb Burton

      Yeah really do learn more about her and what her grandmothers and her relationship was like. Every flash back seems like they get closer no matter what happened. Just like the flashback in chapter 19 where Becca had an accident and Gemma took care of her with no problem and holding her tight.

      • Noah Dotson

        Yeah thats what I thought it seems like out of all the sisters Becca is the closest to Gemma!

      • Madison Ott

        Your right out of all the family Becca is the closest to Gemma, she was the only one who truly cared enough to go searching for Gemma’s dying wish.

    • Brooke Holland

      I did notice that, and it also reveals how close Becca is to Gemma compared to her sisters. Becca loved hearing the story of Briar Rose, and she knew the entire story. She even had an accident, due to the fact that she didn’t want to miss the story, even though it had been told a million times before.

      • I find it very interesting that Becca is the only girl who wants to listen to Gemma’s stories. The fact that she had an accident because she didn’t want to miss Gemma’s stories proves how much Gemma’s stories mean to her.

    • Noah, did you also notice that the tone of the flashbacks keeps getting darker and darker as the story unfolds?

      • Brittney Reising

        The flashbacks inbetween each chapter make me want to continue reading after our assigned chapters. I wonder how it would be to read the falshbacks all together before reading the other chapters.

      • Noah Dotson

        Yeah a little I am also seeing that how snotty the older sisters are it seems like whatever they do they do it without Becca. I never really noticed how bad they were till the flash backs started to get deeper.

    • Dayna Blair

      Yes I did also realize that. I think when they flash black and we learn more about Becca each time it is to help us learn what also happen in Beccas past and that helps us learn more about Becca. It also shows how close Becca and Gemma are.

    • Taryn

      Yeah whenever it flashes back, you can definitely tell that Becca is way more interested than the other girls. And did you notice every time it flashes back its like Gemma is telling another story. Also, you can see Gemma is almost crazy about the story. When Becca’s friends don’t agree with the story she turns crazy.

      • Noah Dotson

        You defiantly see the next step to the story every time it flashes back. I also think that Gemma uses the story to calm Becca down or to comfort her.

      • Nicole Leporati

        I also noticed that Gemma gets a little crazy when someone asks questions about the story or doesn’t agree with it. I almost feel like she has anger issues or something. I also think that because of her craziness towards the story, it shows that it’s related to something darker and more evil in her past and is clearly a touchy subject.

    • Sabrina Collins

      We really do learn more about her as well as finding out more about the story Gemma told. Every time it flashes back there is always a bit more of the story we didn’t know before. We also see more about Becca and her sisters relationship when they were younger. When it flashes back to when she was younger Gemma and Becca seem to be together, Gemma telling Becca stories, while Sylvia and Shana are always together doing something else.

      • Paige Brown

        It’s kind of upsetting that the two other sisters, Shana and Sylvia, lose interest in the story while Becca still has a longing for the Sleeping Beauty story told by Gemma. Even though Becca grows up, she still loves to hear the story. I think even if Becca didn’t want to hear it anymore, she still would love to listen because it’s Gemma’s story.

    • Greg Cornish

      Not only do we learn more about Becca during the flashbacks, but we also see the relationship between Becca and Gemma develop. Becca and Gemma had a relationship unlike any other relationship either of them had with another person.

  8. Karlie Conaway

    In the beginning of the story, isn’t Becca’s father encouraging Becca to find out her Gemma’s past? So why now is he telling her that going to the camp is a bad idea. I know it was a bad place in the past but at the time when Becca is going to visit, its not. It’s a piece of history that could tell more about her Gemma and with her dad telling her its a bad idea to go makes me kind of confused. Wouldn’t you want to help your daughter learn where her grandmother came from?

    • Zeb Burton

      The only thing I could figure out to be a reason for him not wanting to go is that he did not want to see his little girl go knowing that it actually means that she is fully grown up and able to do things on her own with out her fathers help with it.

    • Michael Jenny

      I completely agree with you Karlie. I want to know why would he encourage her at first, but now that she has finally found some facts he shut her down. Which only makes me wonder if he really knows Gemma’s true past, and he is afraid of what Becca might find if she keeps digging up facts from the past.

    • It is weird that Becca’s dad told her that it wasn’t a good idea to visit the camp to try and figure out more about Gemma. Maybe he knows things about Gemma that nobody else does, and he doesn’t want Becca to know the truth?

      • Madison Ott

        By visiting the camp it would help her find the castle in Gemma’s stories. Becca wants closer and by going this is giving her closure and her parents need to understand.

      • Michael Pickworth

        I also think its odd that Becca’s dad was trying to stop her from going to Poland. Personally I think it is because he doesn’t want her to be hurt by the possible outcome of this quest for Gemma’s past. He knows that it was an extermination camp and i think he knows more about Gemma than he lets on.

      • Paige Brown

        I think that Becca’s father doesn’t want Becca to go to the concentration camp because he doesn’t want her to find out about Gemma’s awful past. Maybe he knew what bad things happened to Gemma while she was being held in Oswego. Or maybe he just doesn’t want anything to happen to his little girl while she goes off on this crazy adventure.

    • Izzy Tennant

      Her father is encouraging her to find things out about Gemma’s past. I think that her dad thinks that it isn’t safe. And I had wondered the same thing. When Becca visits that camp it isn’t bad even though in the past it was bad.

    • Sabrina Collins

      The only reasons I could think of him not wanting Becca to continue her investigation is because he may not want to know the truth about who Gemma was and what she went through. He may not want Becca to leave home because she is his youngest and the only one he has left at home. Becca’s father may also know something about Gemma that Becca and the others do not know.

  9. Karlie Conaway

    Stephen, when I read this, I to did not understand what they meant. “That depends on whether you are Rumplestiltskin or the Queen.” I looked up what Rumpelstiltskin was and it came up as the antagonist of a fairy tale that originated in Germany. On the web cite it also told a story and at the end of it the character gets so angry that he ends up stomping his foot into the ground and goes under, never to be seen again. This is what I think the book was referring to but i’m not positive.

  10. Michael Jenny

    I feel like the quote from Shakespeare means way more then it appears. “What’s past is prologue.” I feel like while discovering Gemma’s past Becca will uncover her owen story. While she is learning about Gemma she is also learning about herself, and what her real past is. So for Gemma her journey has came to a sad end, but for Becca this is only the beginning of something great. Thats why I think Shakespeare’s quote is perfect for describing Becca’s travel.

    • Alanna

      I totally agree that Becca will uncover her own story. By going to Poland, she will discover more about her family and her past. It will give her insight on her Gemma’s life and answer many mysteries for her.

    • Cameron Lloyd

      I didn’t consider thinking about the Shakespeare quote this way. Now that I think about in the same way you are it definitely makes sense and could very well be the meaning behind the quote. This could be why Becca is so interested in Gemma’s past is because she wants to find out more about herself. While discovering more and more about Gemma, Becca will begin to discover who she really is.

    • Jacob Glowinski

      I agree with you Jenny the quote does relate alot to Becca.

  11. Alanna

    “What’s past is prologue” Gemma’s past is just the beginning of Becca’s journey. Becca is uncovering Becca’s past more and more each day and right now she is just beginning her journey down memory lane.

    • Dayna Blair

      I agree that Gemma’s past is just the beginning of Becca’s journey. I believe that she is very into Gemma’s past because she likes to learn new things. I also think keeping the promise she made Gemma is very important to her.

    • Thomas Boatright

      I agree that Gemma is just the beginning of Becca’s Journey. Becca will find out more things about Gemma that she didn’t even know. I think she will put herself through alot on this journey.

    • Madison Ott

      It is the beginning of Beccas journey even though Gemma is gone she is still living Gemma’s dreams to the fullest.

  12. Thomas Boatright

    I feel like Stan and Becca’s relationship has changed. Starting after their time spent together looking for answers about Gemma’s hidden past. I feel like Becca has feeling for Stan but he does not have feeling to her. He only wants the story.

  13. Thomas Boatright

    Does anyone think that stan is be a player and just wants the story.

    • Izzy Tennant

      Ya know, I kind of thought the same thing. I do wonder if Stan is being a player, I do think that he might just be a player.

    • Noah Dotson

      I wouldn’t say he is a player if you are talking about when Becca and Stan went to Sam’s house I think that he was just being nice and he doesn’t know that Becca likes him.

      • Brittney Reising

        I don’t think Stan realizes that Becca likes him as of right now. But I also think that Stan feels that Becca should “break the curse” on her own to feel more sucessful in the end.

    • Michael Pickworth

      I don’t think Stan is a player, I think he has obvious feelings for Becca but he is trying to remain professional in this endeavor. He is doing this because Becca is fragile in this situation and he does not want mess up this for her with his feelings.

      • Thomas Boatright

        I disagree they you Pick. I think that he just wants the story and that is all he wants. when Becca and Stan went to Sam’s house Stan is all over sam.

    • Stephen Goetz

      I don’t think that Stan is being a player. He just thinks of Becca as a really good friend. Just because they are friends doesn’t mean they have to date.

    • Zeb Burton

      I feel like he does want the story to write and put in the paper but it almost seems like it may end up to the fact that Becca is going to get upset with him because he wants to put the entire story in the paper when it may seem like its a highly personal topic for Becca.

  14. Izzy Tennant

    I think that Stan and Becca are getting close with each other. But I often wonder if Stan isn’t just playing her, or if he is serious.

    • Paige Brown

      I think that Stan might really like Becca. The way she is determined might attract him. Becca seems like a really lovely person and I could see them being together. But also, maybe he’s just interested in finding out if she is going to figure out Gemma’s past. He could be just interested in the Gemma’s nickname means “princess” and thinks she’s royalty.

    • Dayna Blair

      I don’t really think Stan is playing Becca. I just think that he is trying to keep everything professional so that they can find everything out that they are going to find out.

  15. Madison Ott

    Stan is more of a quiet person in this novel and well he needs to open up about his feelings for Becca and if he is interested in Becca and her life.

  16. Jacob Glowinski

    “What’s past is prologue” quote by Shakespeare means what happended in the past can happen again. I got this because the first half of the quote says ” whats past” meaning it already happened and the secound part ” is prologue” and the prologue is located at the end of the book, which is the future of the past.

  17. Michael Pickworth

    The Quote “What’s past is prologue” means that the past is the beginning of a new story in the present. Like Stans past, he needed to know where he came from. He needed to know the beginning his story. This also goes for Becca trying to find out Gemma’s past, because Becca is trying to discover the beginning of her family’s story.

  18. Sylvia tells Becca that “deathbed promises don’t count.” I don’t agree with her at all. Just because Gemma died, it doesn’t mean that the promise she made doesn’t have to be carried out. My mother-in-law made me promise her that I would never let anyone put those fake flowers on her gravestone that say “mom” or “grandma.” She never asked this of any of her 7 children and countless grandchildren, but instead made me make her this promise. I have kept this promise for many years! Deathbed promises are important because those of left to uphold them know we are counted on to keep them!

    • Zeb Burton

      No matter when the promise is made weather it is on their deathbed or now while someone is living they all matter because no matter what they can see if your holding true to your promise.

    • Nicole Leporati

      I actually forgot about this part in the story, I’m glad that you brought it up again! When we read over this part, I thought that Sylvia saying this was actually quite rude. I feel like “deathbed promises” are actually really serious and important because like you said, the ones that make the promises are the ones held accountable. I, myself, have never made one, but I’d feel extremely guilty if I didn’t keep a promise I made to someone who is deceased.

  19. Michael Jenny

    How does everyone feel about Magda? I do not really care for her at the moment. I feel like her wanting to sell the pants that Becca bought her is kinda shady. However maybe she might turn out to be a very nice women, since she is allowing Becca to stay with her.

    • Jacob Glowinski

      Magda might even be decieveing her by trying to act nice, but really has other intentions.

    • Alanna

      Magda lives in Poland though, their customs are different than ours. To me, it is normal and not rude because to them it is common. Becca said that she likes her, so I think she is nice.

      • Jacob Glowinski

        Becca may say she likes her, but that could be a front for her actual feelings of her.

      • Magda is nice to Becca. She is willing to help her out. I fell like it is common for them to do things like that. We don’t really know much about Magda now, but as the story goes on I’m sure we will know more about her and her character.

    • Stephen Goetz

      I think Magda is really trying to help Becca. When she is exchanging the money she helps her out by telling her that she shouldn’t exchange too much because she can’t leave with it and the people there like dollars too. When Becca is paying the cab driver Magda doesn’t want Becca to give too much away.

    • Greg Cornish

      As hard as it may be to believe or understand, Magda is helpful to Becca. Magda is trying to help Becca in a different way other than what we would. She is trying to interact with Becca in a way that Becca and herself will understand.

      • Madison Ott

        Magda told Becca she was going to sell the jeans on the black market how was this helpful??????!!!

  20. Alanna

    Stan and Becca need to date, RT if you agree.

  21. Karlie Conaway


  22. Madison Ott

    dweebs needs to move to Poland so she can get pants…. haha

  23. Izzy Tennant

    Stan and Becca need to date, RT if you agree.

  24. Karlie Conaway

    Oh my goooooddd Karlie you been HACKED

  25. Karlie Conaway


  26. Cameron Lloyd

    Wow Karlie, You nasty!! This isn’t a blog for bungholes!

  27. Casey'ssicka$$beats

    I wish I could have read with you guys. I wanna comment.

  28. Taryn

    Anyone else notice how crazy Gemma gets when Becca’s friends don’t agree with her story? “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT STORIES? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BRIAR ROSE?” I put it in caps because when reading this, I imagine Gemma going possessed. Agree?

    • Cameron Lloyd

      I think you’re possessed Taryn.

      • Brittney Reising

        That’s an odd way to think of Gemma. But it does make some sence, that would be an awesome twist.

    • Madison Ott

      She psycho

      • Taryn

        Yeah, I just wonder what happened in Gemma’s past to make her so protective of this story.

      • Madison Ott

        Gemma went through a lot in her lifetime causing her to be more sensitive to situations like the field trip when Becca wanted her to tell the story. I should not have said Gemma was psycho but she was most likely mentally ill after going through all of that.

    • Amanda McGahhey

      I defiantly agree with you. I feel like she acts like this because none of her friends really know what’s going on or the true stories other then Stan.

      • Courtney Adkins

        Maybe she acts like that because she is telling a story that I feel like is apart of her horrible past and when she starts telling it she is remembering everything that has happened to herself and thats how she comes off even if she does not mean too.

  29. Cameron Lloyd

    Pat is going to put the beat down on you Karlie!

  30. Noah Dotson

    Come on guys lets grow up!

  31. Becca

    I hate Stan he is a player

  32. Courtney Adkins

    When Becca and Stan are talking about Becca leaving for Poland, Becaa says, “It begins Once Upon a Time.” Stan tells her, “Don’t count on Happy Ever After. This is the real world.” Like Becca says, how happy can it be, because Gemma is dead. This made me think a lot about Becca going out to find the truth about Gemma. Becca is going to find answers about Gemma and her past that she may or may not like to hear about. Even though we have came to the understanding that Gemma’s past was a horrible experience to live through, but she had kids and grandkids, so isn’t that her “Happy Ever After”. I feel as if that’s why she tells the story of Sleeping Beauty. Even with Gemma dead now, Becca will find the truth out and might be able to move on with her own life and become happy.

  33. Casey

    I agree with many of you that stan is being different. I wouldn’t say he is playing her, or loosing interest in her, I would say that he is realizing that this is very serious. And THIS IS IT. Becca is going to Chelmo to find THE answer. I agree with him when he says, “This is the real world” and what she finds over there may be horrible. However…. Becca already knows the ending! Gemma came to America, started a family, grew old and died happy. If I were in Becca’s position, I would keep this in mind. No matter what horrors she finds over there, she will at least know the happy ending.

    • Madison Ott

      Casey I agree with everything you posted. Stan is into Becca but is realizing she’s not joking around she is going to find out about her Grandmother’s past. Stan is like you said realizing that he needs to be serious that way he won’t miss her as much making it easier on him.

      • Taryn

        Maybe Stan is backing off a little bit to give Becca room for what she is about to go discover. He doesn’t want to take up all her thoughts and time. I think that he just wants her to go out and get what she needs to get about Gemma. This will give Becca closure, and she will then be able to open herself up to Stan with things other than Gemma.

    • That’s interesting, Casey. That you point out that there is a happy ending when they continue to question if fairy tales always end happily. Although Gemma sounds proud of her family, I wonder if she was happy though. She seems very haunted by the story she tells. It is a toss up as to whether or not she’s truly happy at the end. Anyone else have thoughts about this?

  34. Madison Ott

    Why is Magda so easy going about how she is going to sell the jeans on the black market. If I were Becca I would be angry, she brought over jeans because she thought that Magda was in need of jeans. It very weird how Magda just came out and said she is going to sell the jeans. She should be appreciative and take the jeans and be respectful and if she were to sell the, do it after Becca leaves.

  35. Looking from Shana’s and Sylvia’s point of view it almost looks like Gemma was crazy or had some type of early onset dementia passing. I mean she almost kept telling the story of Briar Rose without anyone even requesting the story. I get that it was her story but telling does telling it 100,000 times makes the story lose its effect, as we can see with Shana and Sylvia. On top all of this Gemma gets extremely defensive when anyone tries to correct her on the telling of the story, even a little kid.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s