Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chapter 1 (pages 3-22) "The yellow star? It's not lethal."

Elie's father remains optimistic, even after the Jews are made to wear the yellow Star of David. He says, "The yellow star? So what? It's not lethal." What does Wiesel mean when he says to his father (in parentheses), "Poor Father! Of what then did you die?" (see page 11)

11 comments:

  1. I think that he is trying to say that his father is acting strange.He is trying to say that this is probably not something his dad would say.Instead of being sad and having no hope he is being optimistic.He is kind of using a metaphor.Like when your brother who is mean to you and he does an act of kindness,and you say something along the lines of what did you do with my brother. Maybe it is like he is saying something like that but in his own words.Like my father is dead who is this man.Instead he actually says "Of what then did you die". It is kind of like an accent or slang -Edwin

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  4. I think that Wiesel wrote those words because he is writing his story in the past, but the comment in the parenthesis is meant to be in the present, a remark that he thought of now looking back at his past. Wiesel is saying that if only his father could have known the impact that ”yellow star” would produce from that moment on. If only Ellie’s father had known that from that moment forward, people would look firstly at their shirt “logo” and not at their faces. I think that is the point Mr. Wiesel tried to achieve by putting those words in parenthesis rather than in quotes. This comment also foreshadows Mr. Wiesel’s father’s death in the future of the story and the countless implications this star will bring to all people. The reader must also be aware that the author is telling his story through this novel, thus this comment.

    -Lilly

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  5. I agree with Lilly. Elie Wiesel placed the comment "Poor Father! Of what then did you die?" in the parenthesis because he made this remark as he was reminiscing on the past, as he was writing his story. Elie's father says that the "yellow star" can do no harm... "its not lethal." With this, Elie's father gave hope to the Jews in Sighet. Even after seeing all the changes that has happened in just a couple of days, Elie's father still had hope in him and stayed optimistic even though he felt doubt. And that was what gave the other Jews hope. But what he did not know was that the "yellow star" would soon be a symbol of their death and sorrow.

    The "yellow star" or the Star of David was a symbol of the Jewish religion and community. So when Wiesel states that death comes to them because of the "yellow star", he is talking about their religion and culture. This remark also foreshadows of what is coming to them as they get deported and moved out of the ghetto. Like what Lilly said, Elie Wiesel achieves in foreshadowing of what is about to happen by placing this comment in parenthesis.

    -Jessica C.

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  6. I agree with Lilly. The statement was made in the present as the author was looking back on the past. It's kind of an ironic statement. The "yellow star" symbolizes the Jewish people. When the Jews were told to wear it, it was made to clearly set them apart from everyone else in the world, to label them as a Jew. The father seemed as if he did not think much about it, but I think somewhere inside himself he realized that things were changing. He realized that the Jews were being 'marked' to stand out. He made the statement in order to convince himself and the others that what was happening was not a big deal and that their lives were not in danger. However, this symbol that marked them as Jews also marked their deaths. They were killed because of their race and the "yellow star" that labeled them.

    - Katie :)

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  7. I think that he is trying to say that his dad is not still openning his eyes of what is happening in the camps and also that his dad is acting really strange. Also, I think that Elie is trying to say is that, "What is wrong with this man," and, "Who is this man."

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  8. It does seem that Elie's father doesn't know what's coming. Elie's father is not the only one that isn't opening his eyes, like Ikjoo says. The millions of Jews targeted also don't see the terror the yellow star can bring. Like many other Jews, Elie's father never once imagined they would be attacked for following the Jewish faith. Being labeled with a yellow star did not feel it would make a great impact on their life. Jews would soon be taken to concentration camps to work and eventually be killed. Exposing the fact that a person was Jewish set an expiration date on their lives. Elie seems to foreshadow that his father is eventually killed along with millions of others Jews. Jews seemed to be blindsided into wearing the yellow stars and even into moving to ghettos. These forced actions against Jews brought misery and death to innocent beings. These actions were in fact lethal.

    -Evelyn M.

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  9. I think Elie's father is trying to remain optimistic because he does not want to believe the horror. I trust he knew what the Star of David meant and choose not to pay any attention to the reasoning every one was explaining to him.

    Another point is as Elie was writing this story of the past, he was thinking differently than he was at that time. I believe he just added his own present thoughts to his own book. I do not see anything wrong with that unless you don't let the reader know that those are your thoughts in the present and not in the past. That explains why this particular quote," Poor father! Of what then did you die?" was stated in parenthesis.

    On the other hand, he could have just said it in his mind while showing respect to his father. I know if I were in that situation I would not have said anything aloud that could have been taken as "talking back."

    I want elaborate a little more on my first paragraph. He seemed so blind as if he did not know what the Star of David stood for. He acted as if he could hear no evil.
    -Saphira

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  10. he "yellow star" or the Star of David was a symbol of the Jewish religion and community. So when Wiesel states that death comes to them because of the "yellow star", he is talking about their religion and culture. This remark also foreshadows of what is coming to them as they get deported and moved out of the ghetto. Like what Lilly said, Elie Wiesel achieves in foreshadowing of what is about to happen by placing this comment in parenthesis.

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  11. The yellow star was a label to show if a person was a Jew. Even though the star seemed harmless, it is what separated the Jews from everyone else. No one, at the time, realized the curse that wearing it would bring. Because they were Jews, they were sent to concentration camps. Because they were Jews, they were put into gas chambers where they experienced a slow, suffocating death. Because they were Jews, they were starved to death, beaten to death, worked to death, and hung. They experienced all of this as a result of who they were and what the yellow star signified. No one can blame them for not seeing the danger hidden by the yellow star; they were blinded by optimism. Anyone in their situation would most likely have thought the same thing. Elie only knew later what suffering accompanied being a Jew, and his father would experience it too.
    -Sonya

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