Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chapter 3 (pages 29-46) -- Changes II

How is Elie's relationship with his father changing? Remember to be specific and give examples.


  1. As Elie and his family leaves for the concentration camp you see many changes as he turns his back to praying. At the arrival of Auschwitz all he can think about is staying with his father. As he sees the children burning he changes, and starts to think how could God let this happen. He watches his father get attacked, and fall to the floor. He chose to do nothing as if it was an instinct. Auschwitz is changing Elie teaching him to only worry about himself. Knowing that is the only way to survive.

  2. At first, Elie admires his father for being a hero and always standing up for what he believes in. Elie and his father both undergo numerous changes from their stay in the ghettos to their stay in the concentration camps. Elie becomes numb to his surroundings after witnessing the terrifying scenes, such as the execution of infants. He is shocked at these images, but later disregards them as if they were an everyday occurrence. His father also endures emotional changes, as well as physical changes. At first, Elie admires his father for being a hero and always standing up for what he believes in. Over time, Elie's father loses his courageousness and bravery. He becomes weak and submissive to the Nazi soldiers. In this chapter, he is beaten for simply asking where the lavatories are. The officer beats with "such a clout that he fell to the ground" (Wiesel 37). He does not fight back or yell for justice. He only sits there, taking the beating as if he deserved it. At this point, you can see the change in Elie and his father's relationship. Normally, Elie would "have sunk [his] nails into the criminal's flesh" (Wiesel 37). Instead, he watches his father being broken down into nothing without even flickering an eye. Elie notices these changes, but does not seem to care. It is as if he accepting the way things are, losing both his dignity and pride.