Monday, February 14, 2011

Chapter 7 (pages 98-103): "I like to give charity."

Why does Elie ask the Parisian woman to please not throw any coins? Of what is he being reminded? How does he feel? How do you feel?

15 comments:

  1. Elie asks kindly of the cold hearted Parisian woman to not throw the coins because the children are attacking themselves as if they were some wild animals. That is what Elie is reminded of when a couple of men throw a piece of bread in the car where they were. The people inside the car are attacking themselves just like the children were with the coins. Elie doesn't even make an effort to try to get a piece of bread because he might not feel as strong, he might feel as if he is losing the little dignity that he has left. He doesn't want to be the same as the others, biting, hitting, and killing for food. I felt really upset about this whole scene. It was unacceptable for people to do this to those who are suffering. These types of things that people did for "fun" were just so inhumane. It was wrong. I disliked it a lot.

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  2. The scene with the Parisian woman illustrates one occasion of Elie’s life several years later. He asks the lady to not throw any more coins because the two children were strangling each other for the coins. In the water each child fights to take the life of the other. This sight disturbs Elie because he is being reminded of a similar experience when he passed through German towns on his train journey. He recalls when a German worker threw a piece of bread into the wagon. The starving men created a stampede by the dozen with hope of acquiring just a crumb. Like the Parisian woman, watching humans killing each other brings joy to the German worker. I found their joy to be quite disturbing. Elie asks the Parisian lady to stop throwing coins because watching the children fight produces feelings of uneasiness accompanied by flashbacks of the past.
    -Nancy N.

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  3. He asks her to stop because it is obvious the children will kill for one coin. The lady knows this as well, but she is entertained by the sight of violence in the young boys. He speaks of this memory because he is reminded of it when he is in the train with the jews, besauce other germans outside are throwing pieces of bread in the train watching the jews kill one another for a chance of a crumb. Though it is not that abnormal, we oursleves in the present pay to see people fight in boxing, and we pay to see cock fights, dog fights, and many different forms of violence. The only difference is that in this case the people are actually killing instead of just hurting one another. So I believe this behavior should have been expected.

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  4. The scene with the Parisienne woman occurs some years later after the war. Elie asks her to stop throwing coins because he catches sight of two boys "engaged in a death struggle, trying to strangle each other" for a coin. This reminds Elie of when a German workman throws a piece of bread in to a wagon full of starving Jews. Dozens of men fought each other to death just for a few crumbs. This is disturbing to Elie because he is reminded of his past and everything that happened to him. He felt restless. Just like the German workman, the Parisienne woman took pleasure in seeing the people fight to their deaths. Elie was disgusted by it and that is why he tells the woman to stop throwing coins. I agree with Nancy. I find it very disturbing that the Parisienne woman and the German workman found joy in seeing people attack and kill each other. I really see no joy in that, Its pretty ironic.

    -jessica c

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  5. He askes the woman to stop throwing the coins because he notices two boys trying to kill each other for the coin. He is reminded of the journey to the camps. He remembers when Germans threw bread into the wagon for the Jews. Only the Jews were so starved, they fought each other irrationally for the bread crumbs. Many killed each other for just a piece of bread. That was how crazy the hunger drove them. A son killed his own father for a piece of bread. The Germans knew how hungry the Jews were. They knew how far they would go to get some food. They knew that they would go aginst each other to stay alive for a while longer. Just as the Parisienne woman knew that they boys would try to kill each other for the coin. In both situations, they were entertained to see the people fight for things that they did not think were very worthy. They liked to see it. This disgusted Elie. He never wanted to witness something like that again.

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  6. I agree with Vanessa. It was as if he was reliving the horrors of the holocaust again because these children were killing each other over coins like the jews were killing each other for bread. Only 12 of 100 people survived that journey. Hunger was a more powerful murderer at that moment than any weapon man could make. To have to witness horrid things like that would be torture all over again. Even though she says she likes to give charity she really likes to watch desperate people fight like monsters over one measly coin. Thats exactly what the Germans did they didn't have to feed the Jews but they liked to watch them fight over something so small.

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  7. Elie is repulsed that the Parisian woman throws the coins and knowingly knows that they are both poor children. If she really did want to give some charity to the poor children, she should not have thrown it, she should have handed both children a single coin so that they would both receive something. And what irritates me the most is that I can just imagine her saying ever so innocently, “Why not? I like to give charity…(Wiesel 100)” Secondly, this also reminds him of a similar experience that he had inside the wagon with the rest of the ravishing men that assaulted each for some crumbs of bread that were thrown in by common German laborers just for the sake of entertainment. But instead of joining the brawl of men and submitting himself to pleasing the laborers wishes, he rebels and decides that although he may be hungry he will not subject himself to such spectacle. I agree with Alex, when he says that even though humanity has become a bit more civilized, there are still others that see violence as an amusement. And I guess that is why Elie may have felt that although the Holocaust had passed, the world still remained scarred with such inhumane actions.
    -Lilly

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  8. Elie asked the Parisian woman not to throw coins in the water because he "[likes] to give to charity." It reminded him of how the men had broken out into a battle for a crumb if bread. They were just like the people who were diving to get the coins only worse. The men were vicious. They were stomping and biting each other. They were like preying animals. Elie Was disturbed and bothered at how the two children were trying to strangle one another. It was utterly repulsive and he couldn't stand to nearly relive the moment. I felt it was crazy and unrealistic, but of course I've never been in the situation. I was disgusted at how much the Parisian woman and the guard enjoyed the sight of seeing people fight for something.
    -Tiana

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  9. Even though the scene with the Parisienne woman occurs years later in Elie's life, he is still reminded of the horrors he saw on his journey to Buchenwald. Elie witnesses men practically KILLING each other over a small ration of bread. He is in shock! He can not believe that this is actually occurring! Those men had lost all of their sense of humanity and now act like "wild beasts of prey" (Wiesel 95). Their savage and inhumane behavior scare Elie and leave him with a memory that will last for a lifetime. His emotions are immensely struck when he perceives the son brutally beating his father over a small piece of bread. The young man does not pay any attention to who he is beating or the fact that his father had managed to get food for him too. He is only focused on getting the bread. This saddens Elie and makes him wish even more that he would not have to see or partake in anything like this himself.
    This chapter was extremely emotional for me. The description of how the prisoners were acting over a simple piece of bread frightens me. It was also a reality check in a way. It shows how desperate these people really were. It demonstrates how they made the immense change from being quiet and timid prisoners to ravenous and untamed beasts. I can, in a way, feel what they were going through. I also find the joy that the Parisienne woman and the Germans are getting out of this ordeal to be quite DISGUISTING! How could you find entertainment in two human beings beating the life out of one another for food? How in the world could you find two CHILDREN strangling each other over a coin amusing? I just do not understand how you could be so cold-hearted and EVIL-minded!

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  10. Elie asked the Parisian woman to stop because it reminds him of his trip to Buchenwald. During his journey to the camp, people fought and killed each other for small amounts of bread. I am reminded of the old man, who managed to get a piece of bread for himself and his son, but his son killed him so that he could have it all, which in turn, led to people killing the son for the bread. The woman in Paris was causing the same type of thing, by throwing coins at the children. Elie witnessed two of them fighting over a coin, killing each other for a trivial piece of metal that was probably near-worthless if they were being thrown away.

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  11. Bread coins its all the same. Its a means of survival. Elie wanted the Parisian women to stop throwing coins because it brought back the memory of his ride to Buchenwald. Fighting for food is the eqivalent to fighting for money. People were fighting for small amounts of food just to survive. They even harmed there own family for the smallest portions of food. Some kill and commit crimes for small amounts of money in order to survive their every day life. So what is the difference between killing for food and killing for money? I wouldnt be able to harm anyone in my family for food or money. I could imagine the temptation but I know I wouldnt have the guts to do it. But I wouldnt put it past someone in my family to kill for food.

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  12. Elie believes she does not "like to give charity." He is reminded of what is happening in the car they are in, people killing each other just for food. The children are (in the same way) killing each other for the coins she is throwing. The local people, threw peices of bread to the Jews just for their entertainment. And what do they recieve for entertaintment? Alot of Jews killing themselves. Sadly, of the one hundred Jews, only twelve of them survived. Not just by freezing to death, or starving, but because they were blinded by surival and just killed each other

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  13. When the Parisian lady is throwing coin at the poor kids, Elie asks her to stop because the kids were attacking each other like animals; they were almost killing each other. Seeing the little kids fight for the coin reminded Elie of when he was in the train, passing through some German town, and a couple of German men threw pieces of bread into the train. For the men watching how the prisoners in the train fought for a piece of bread, just like the woman watching the little kids fight, the scene might’ve been entertaining. For the men fighting for the piece of bread, or the little kids fighting for the coin, the scene would’ve been a matter of death and life. This just shows how the German men or the Parisian lady did not care whether people were getting hurt, as long as they were getting entertained. The sarcastic words of the Parisian lady, “Why not? I like to give to charity…” (100) were so ignorant and inhumane. If I had told the lady to stop throwing coins, and she said that to me, I would’ve felt stupid and mad. I would not be able to tell her how to stop, when she was so evil; I would speechless.

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  14. The Germans knew how hungry the Jews were. They knew how far they would go to get some food. They knew that they would go aginst each other to stay alive for a while longer. Just as the Parisienne woman knew that they boys would try to kill each other for the coin. In both situations, they were entertained to see the people fight for things that they did not think were very worthy. They liked to see it. This disgusted Elie. He never wanted to witness something like that again.

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  15. Ellie was reminded by the woman’s action because he had a flashback from the prisoners brutally fighting over the piece of bread in the camps. Ellie was simply being reminded of how the people went crazy for any little thing that had value, whether it was a coin, a piece of bread, or a sock. Ellie was scared and he wanted to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again. The prisoners in the camp became so hungry that they became beasts instead of humans. Ellie was shocked and scared as he saw one of the children beat his father to death over the piece of bread. Ellie felt disgusted that people would be amused by such a stupid activity. He was ashamed that a person would even want to do such a cruel thing. I would also feel disgusted and aggravated because of the fact that the woman would be amused my being a bully and watching the children beat each other up over coins.

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