Monday, February 14, 2011

Chapter 4 (pages 47-65): The hangings

Explain how Elie reacted to the two hangings -- the dentist and the young Polish boy.
How and why were the reactions different?


  1. To the hanging of the dentist Elie seems indifferent. He probably reacted this way because the dentist worked for the Nazis. He extracted gold teeth from the mouths of Jews. He put his fellow Jews through pain so he would be free or it at least kept him away from death a bit longer than the normal Jew in a camp. Elie even says that "[he] felt no pity for him" because his gold crown was safe and the dentist was only working to benefit himself (p 52). On the other hand when the young Polish boy was killed he felt horrible. The soup tasted like corpses to him. The young boy seemed to bring the Jews a sense of hope with his angelic features. It seems that to Elie the boy was young and innocent and did not deserve to die that way. Compared to the dentist's yellow teeth and his death mask face, the Polish boy did not bring fear into Elie. Not to mention the way the boy struggled to live because he was too light to die instantly. He suffered even more because his death was slow and painful. Unlike the greedy dentist the young boy seemed to fight to be free and to to help the other Jews out.

    -Evelyn M.

  2. While Elie was in the concentration camp, he attended to all the punishments that were made, in other words, he went to every single hanging. Anyways, out of all the hangings the ones that impressed Elie the most were the hanging of a dentist and the hanging of a young pipel. Both of them shocked Elie in different ways. During the hanging of the dentist, Elie was kind of happy, sad, and proud. He felt happy because the dentist, who would always work for himself, died; he felt sad because he was one more Jew who was killed appart of the thousands who died in the crematoria, and proud because the last "sentence" of the dentist gave Elie hope. On the other hand, the hanging of the young pipel just traumatized Elie because it was just like a horror movie. When the young pipel was already hanging, he would not die. The pipel would stay hanging for more than half an hour. In that moment, Elie began to ask himself -"Where is God?" and "Is God real?".

    -Gaby B.

  3. With the Dentist, Elie didn't feel as bad as he did with the other hangings. That night with the soup he even said that it tasted better than it ever had, simply because he didn't feel that the dentist's life really mattered. I took it as he was happy that it wasn't him being hung because he was involved with the dentist and one of the ones that he let off the hook for a little while. As for the other hangings, I think that Elie would have felt the same way towards these people except that there was a little kid involved. The little kid didn't exactly have a chance at life whereas the other grown men did.
    He couldn't have the same experiences that life gives us like the other men already had the chance to feel. The little kid was helpless and defenseless against the Nazis, as were the other prisoners. The difference was that the prisoners could have been more aware of the situation and gotten away before it was too late and they were captured, whereas the little boy had to stay with his parents, and they determined his future and his outcome. That is why Elie felt bad after the second group of hanging because of the little boy. That night he said that the soup tasted like dead corpses instead of being better than ever.

    -Michael Salazar

  4. Elie felt no pitty for the dentist. The Dentist had procoved severe pain to some jews. He was even going to take away Elies golden crown, and the dentist also worked for the Nazis. With the boy he felt different. The boy was very young and did not deserve to dye. And the words that he said at the end were very inspiering so the peopel in the concentration camp would not loose faith.

  5. Elie felt no pity for the dentist because he was a nazis. He hurt Jews to survive. He saw it as a means of survival but Elie saw it as betrayal. The dentist had no heart. If he did he wouldnt of harmed his own people. Elie felt sorrow for the young Polish boy because they were both in the same situation. Elie saw himself when he saw the young polish boy hanging. He thought what if that was me? He thought is that my future? Elie was concerned that maybe his faith has been chosen and he would be next.