How Women In The Nightingale Took The War By Storm Leading To Victory

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Throughout the ages women have been pushed aside and seen as people who stay at home, clean all day, too fragile to handle combat but, with Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale it proves all of those statements wrong. Her book shows women who pushed against the normal and went above and beyond expectations.

This book shows strong women who did not take no for an answer and saved as many or even more lives than the men on the very front line of battle. Women who risked lives to help many more, women who not only had to keep up with children and regular jobs but, have a secret life after dark to ensure the safety of many men. In The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah proves that the pressure of women in World War 2 was critical to the Allies winning the war.

During the war, the women were not seen as a threat, making them even more useful in World War 2. Back in the 1930’s women were seen as people who stayed at home cleaned and took care of the children and house while the men went to war and did all of the hard work. Having this stereotype made the women even more lethal and want to contribute more as Isabelle did. Isabelle did not want to be known as just another pretty face she wanted to take action and control just like Andree de Jongh did.

Andree de Jongh was a member of the Belgian Resistance and led allied airmen and soldiers across the currently Nazi-occupied Belgium into the neutral Netherlands. It was said that de Jongh rescued over 800 men from the allies and this is who Isabelle was based on. Isabelle used her beauty, looks and charisma to get what she wanted and having the men being as naive as they were, they did not suspect anything out of the ordinary for Isabelle just like this quote implies “ Getting out of Occupied France was difficult and dangerous. Getting back in-atleast for a twenty-year-old girl with a ready smile-was easy.” (Hannah,284)

Men are typically faster to run to guns rather than wits, unlike women. Throughout The Nightingale, it is shown that the men portrayed would rather go straight to shooting and ask questions later unlike the women. Isabelle and Vianna both use smarts to out with the Nazis, carefully calculating every move, making plans, using brains and common street smarts. In an article written by author Ian Hughes on, Hughes explains that it is in a male’s biology that going to violence is a first suggestion in the mind, it is also explained as a mob mentality such as being with more people encourages egoism and greed.

Women also have a nurturing and calm sense of mind as biology has made it to be. Having a rational and non-aggressive state of mind gives women the upper hand in figuring out tough situations and using brains rather than violence to de-escalate situations. “ Rachel was almost at the front of the queue when a whistle shrieked and someone yelled in German. The guard turned his machine gun on the crowd and opened fire” ( Hannah 334,335). This quote shows how men resort straight to violence rather than ask questions first, it says the german guard opens fire on the crowd implying that he does not care about the well being of any one the humans in the crowd before him showing his animalistic tendencies.

Women’s efforts in World War 2 is shown to have theoretically saved more lives barring the men. When the war was declared all available men were sent off leaving the women to not only fend for oneself but, to also work the jobs left behind.

Women everywhere affected by the war took up jobs everywhere factories, farms, building ammunition, driving taxis and buses. Not only did women fill in on the common jobs but, they worked with the military as well.” Isabelle and my father, Julien Rossignol, and their friends ran the Nightingale escape route. Together, they saved over one hundred and seventeen men” (Hannah, 559). This quote shows that with just the one escape route Isabelle helped save over 100 men, this goes to show that many other women during the war could have been doing the exact same thing but, they just never said anything about it due to struck rules at the time. During war times, many women did what Isabelle did in The Nightingale, they helped allied men get to war safe zones. Stepping into the roles while the men were gone was crucial towards helping the total efforts of World War 2.

In conclusion women’s efforts in World War 2 did not go unnoticed by any, it proves that the women who stood up, fought for themselves and the lives of other soldiers especially when times were tough helped a cause bigger than the actions they had made. If women such as Isabelle did not push back against against the sexist men and stereotypes, the Allies may not have won. All in all in the novel The Nightingale Kristen Hannah proves that the pressure of women in World War 2 was critics towards the Allies winning the war.


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