Elie is going through changes so quickly because the life he loved so much was quickly ripped from under his feet. The Nazis took his home, his mother, his sisters, his friends, and now his very soul. He is stripped of his name and identity when he is assigned a number. His world has transformed into this mirror of night mares. He is now a new person; void of any emotion. His very being has been stripped from him and replaced by the Nazis idea of a worthless animal. He has changed into someone that he doesn’t even know, someone that he never believed that he could become; an empty shell of human life. Others are consumed physically by the black flame but his spirit is consumed and destroyed within him. He truly has become a new person.
You're right, Julieth. Elie was becoming someone else. He was not the same happy, religious child he had always been. All of that was gone. I love the way he describes this change, it just makes it all so much more real and it really describes how he was feeling. It shows the true impact the camp had on Elie. He felt he had no soul. That was sort of a goal for the Nazis, to make them feel as if they were nothing, and meant nothing. The poor Jews were treated like trash and made to believe they were trash. Elie is no exception. He feels nothing after seeing the terrible actions of the Nazis for so long. Others undoubtedly had the same experience and this kind of opens up your eyes to the inside of the Jewish minds. I mean, of course we see the things that happened and we think "Oh, how terrible of those Nazis! And those poor, poor Jews!" But we never truly can tell how it FELT, the impact it had upon the Jewish people. Physically, mentally and emotionally they were torn down and broken apart, stripped of all humanity and feeling, until they were, as Elie says "a shape that resembled" their former selves.-Brittney