When reading "the Devil's Paintbox", you are driven through a ride of loss, discomfort, pain, and search for the unaccomplishable way to rid yourself of those emotions. This story shows the struggle of people in the early 1800s perfectly.
This book follows the story of Aiden, a boy whose city was destroyed and is now nothing but dust, and his sister, Molly. They susrvive by eating dirt and are forced to live in the worst of conditions. Until a man comes to find people like this, and take them to a place where they can work. Aiden and Molly follow. Molly dies on the way. Aidan's has to work on a lumberyard. He's fired for picking fights, and has to then seek employment elsewhere.
The devil's paintbox is named after the Desiese epidemic of the time, chicken pox; a desiese that affected many in this story. It is a perfect symbol of uncontrollable circumstances making you go through a living hell, and you can do nothing about it...even though you're supposed to be able to. Aiden faces these situations many times in this story, although this is not unheard of in this world. It seems everyone is going through similar hardships, incapable of helping their situations in this country of "opportunities".
Aiden has to see many loved ones go, the most heartbreaking of which was Molly. Outside of moments where terrible things took Aiden by shock, there were moments of prolonged pain. When Aiden had to work for the lumberyard, he was abused and hated for being a child. He took his emotional pain out in physical pain. He liked chopping trees because it hurt. It took away from the torture of mental pain, and brought forth something far more bareable: physical pain. And the author makes sure you feel every bit of it. You are made to go through the same journey as Aiden.
This is done to show the reader a close look at pain, and makes us see why Aiden did the things he did.
what do you think the reason is for the author to make you feel like Aiden?