In Pawel HuelleÆs Moving House (1996), the reader is treated to the story of a young Polish boy who pays a visit to his German neighbor. Such a visit is forbidden to the boy, but the beautiful music played by the German lady next door bewitches him. In Polish history, Germany became an aggressive and betraying neighbor while Russia offered salvation. Nevertheless for Poles, oneÆs friends one day could easily be oneÆs enemies the next. As such, national identity or communal identity became more significant than individual identity. The story of the young boy who interacts with his German neighbor is an example of this condition in Polish history.
In Moving House, Huelle relies on a number of different stylistic elements to illustrate the psychological condition of Poles through a war-torn history via the story of a young Polish boy who makes a forbidden visit to his German neighbor ladyÆs. Like Poland collectively became bewitched and then betrayed by Hitler, so the Polish youth is bewitched by the beautiful music played by the German lady next door. As the young narrator tells us of Mrs. HoffmanÆs quarters, ôSomething odd was going on in the Great Room, something I couldnÆt understand, and I donÆt mean just the German languageö (Huelle 84). Symbolized in this is the Polish collective identity taking precedence over knowledge of other cultures.
Like Poland would enter into a compact with Germany, the young boy dismisses his parentsÆ orders and vishts Mrs. Hoffman. Mrs. Hoffman has never met the boy but she knows he loves the music she plays, since she can see it in his eyes. The boy is entranced with the music she plays like Poland once was entranced by Nazi Germany. Ruth Ross (88) says in her review of HuelleÆs short stories in Moving House, ôThese quietly powerful stories are dusted with fancy and fantasy.ö In a way, this fancy and fantasy refers to PolandÆs naivety in fallin