Monday, February 14, 2011

Chapter 8 (pages 104-12): Free

Explain and respond to Elie's statement, "Free at last!"

16 comments:

  1. To me, Elie's statement seemed very cold and harsh. At the back of his mind, Elie may have been thinking that his father was keeping him back. That he was being a burden to Elie. Elie felt "free" now that no one was holding him back from what he could do without a person who couldn't keep up with him. I find this pretty ironic because besides the fact that Shlomo, Elie's dad, may have been a slight burden now that he was getting older, he was, I think, Elie's biggest motivation. Without his dad there with him beside, I feel that Elie wouldn't have made it out alive. Shlomo was really the only person who made Elie keep going, kept pushing him to stay alive. Elie couldn't have possibly survived the Holocaust without the mental and emotional help that his father gave him with just being by his side. And the thought of Elie saying this, implying that his father was a burden to him, struck me as very vulgar.

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  2. For weeks on end Elie carried the "burden" of his father with him. When it was finally time for father to pass on, rather than feeling loss, Elie felt "Free at last."I must agree with Nalleli, the statement came across as vulgar at first. Elie said earlier in the book, that his father was his strength and will to survive. Had he not been there I am almost sure that Elie would have long since run into the electric fence. On the other hand, I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been. It is as though Elie switched roles with his father. Father was almost childlike as well as dead. He was no longer himself and Elie was forced to watch as his own father transformed into death. I admire Elie'scourage, though I think that he should have shown a little remorse over the death of his father.

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  4. His father may have been a burden to him, but I agree with Olivia. He could have shown a little bit of remorse. It is almost like saying that someone is happy that their parents died because you were on punishment. I don't think he realized that the bad outcomes over-ruled the good. This means that comment was uncalled for and just rude to his father's life all together. He is supposed to remember him as he many have annoying, but I love him. Not I hated him ever since I was young because he didn't know my favorite color was blue. What I'm trying to say is he might be happy in the moment because he does not have his burden, but what about later when he needs someone to push him through the bad times. I believe he will realize this later on in his life time.
    -Saphira

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  5. Elie has been suffering and desperately trying to care for both himself and his father. i doubt it was just the responsibility of this that defeated Elie, but the thought of not wanting his father to leave him. The thought of the extra work to care for his father was not what troubled him, it was the switch of him caring for his father, than his father caring for him. Also, once his father died, Elie was "free" because now, he had nothing to lose. He had nobody left he cared for, nobody but himself, his body, left. To him, he was free to be as a body, fighting, crying, or nothing, as long as he knew that his actions would only affect himself, not his father. Elie was now an enemy to death. And there is nothing more dangerous than an enemy that has nothing to lose.

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  6. For the time that Elie has been with his father, he felt burdened. And he longed to rid of his father as humanity is being taken away from him. So when he finally does get rid of his father, he feels deep inside him the he is "free at last!" I believed that it was cruel for Wiesel to even have this thought in his mind. I mean, how could he be thinking this when his father just died? Shouldn't he be weeping? He ends up comparing himself to the Rabbi's son and how he has tried so hard to not do what he did. But in the end, it came down to him caring for himself. But I also think that Elie has been through a lot. So much that death is nothing to him now. Remember, this all happened in a year. He lost his parents, his sisters, his home. Elie's humanity has been stripped away from him and he feels no emotion. Even to the extent that he sheds no tears for his father's death. He even said that it pained him that no tears came and even though he tried, nothing still came... he "had no more tears." Elie wasn't fully sane. I think it really wasn't him that said "free at last!" It was somebody else that overtook Elie's mind. He, in a way, was brainwashed by Hitler like the Germans were.

    -jessica c

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  7. When Elie's father passes away the way he describes his emotion is through three simple words.Free at last. He says this because he no longer has to constantly worry about his father. Yes, he does feel a bit bad about feeling this way however he just wanted to be able to worry about himself. Throughout his journey at the camps every second of every day he not only worried about if he was going to get killed but he also worried about the health of his father. He also had to deal with twice as many responsibilities when his father was alive. Now he had few things to worry about. in fact, the only thing he had to worry about was keeping himself alive.

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  8. I think that when Elie's father died, Elie was in a way, numb to the pain. He had gone through so much that he didn't feel anything when his father died. He feels as though he was "free at last" because at times, his father was a burden, as mentioned above. He felt as though his father was holding him back, making his survival that much less likely. I do not agree with his feelings over this, I think it is very selfish and unmoral of him to feel this way. I can see how it must have looked to Elie. Before, as Emily said, he had to not only worry about his own fate and well-being, but his fathers. It was as though he became the parent, the father to his father. It is not that surprising that he felt relieved that his father was dead. I do not think that he was happy of his fathers death. He says " Could i have searched it, I might perhaps found something like-free at last". He doesn't necessarily say that was how he felt. I believe he was also relieved that his father would not have to suffer any more. That he would not have to live through their nightmare.

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  9. Elie refered to his dad being dead when stating "free at last"! Elie surely wasn't happy but he felt relieved that his dad had gotten rid of his suffering. Both he and his dad had been in the camp for around a year and Elie was grateful that his fathers suffering was over. He was also relieved that he didint have to take care of his father anymore and he could devote all of his efforts to his own survival. Elie's dad seemed to be numb and unknowing about his surrounding and his pain.

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  10. Eli and his father went through a lot. They did everything to keep them together. When Eli said “Free at last!” maybe he was referring, that he could go back to his family. But, he might have also been thinking that his father may have been a little too harsh on him. On the other hand, he must have felt free once his father died. Maybe he felt he did not need to take orders from anyone. Now that he knows all of his family is gone, all he thought was to take care of himself only. No other family member was left except for him.

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  11. Eli’s free at last statement, stated everything a man or woman in the holocaust will say after years and years of being closed up in caches and working just to make the Nazis happy. Free at last! Just explains all the feelings that a human being will say, Elie is so happy of running away from death and being able to be free, and making your decisions, not being forced to do labor work until you die. After the world many people still wished it had never happened but being free is such much better than wishing.

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  12. Free at last. After all the pain and after all the hardships that Elie had to live through he was a free man within a concentration camp and could do as he wished with his person. Elie was not free from the Nazis but as he saw it he was freed from the burden that his father represented. Elie was free at last and yet it was a bitter freedom because it could not be shared with anyone. It was freedom from his father, but it also represented being alone in the world with no one to share. This feeling of freedom however, did not last long. Without his father Elie then felt lost and deprived of a want and reason to live. The famous saying “You don’t truly appreciate something until you’ve lost it” applies to Elie in this period of time. Towards the end he was wanting, even though it was in a deep place in his soul, that his father would just go and then his life was almost meaningless without him.

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  13. “Free at last!” is how a part of Elie feels when his father dies. Elie was did not want to admit it, but he felt that his father was becoming a heavy load for Elie, and that Elie was being brought back by him. Although Elie loved his father very much, he wanted to get rid of this burden, so when his father died, a part of Elie was happy. I really think that what Elie did is very mean, but if I was in his shoes, I might be able to understand him. I could understand how hard it would be for Elie to carry such a heavy burden, but it’s just what he should do for his father, if he really loved him. Some people, such as Elie and his father, had remained with their families until the end. These people should’ve thought about supporting each other during the tough ride, instead of just think of each other as heavy loads. Elie did not realize how lucky he was no have been able to stay with his father until the end, so when his father died, he stupidly thought that he was being liberated from a burden.

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  14. I'm just going to be blunt and honest with this statement - Elie does indeed feel burdened by his father. I recall reading a story called, "The Blanket: We Reap as We Have Sown". It was set in Dust Bowl-era America, and revolves around a family of the parents, the son, and the grandfather. The grandfather has grown too old and tired to work, and is forced by the parents onto the streets to fend for himself, and to save money, as he doesn't earn his keep. It can be said that Elie feels the way about his father that the parents felt about the grandfather - he's old, he's lived his life, and he's not earning his keep. While this seems harsh to throw out a family member, or leave them to die in Elie's father's case, keep in mind how Elie feels at this point. As I've said before, the evils and hardships of the Germans has made Elie transcend only to an existence of a body. He's been emotionally hardened by all this, and even though he loves his father, being his only family left and his reason for not giving up so far, he is secretly relieved that his father is gone and no longer a burden. It can also be compared to a terminally ill family member - you love them, but they've gone through so much pain already, and it's awful to hear their suffering. So Elie may intially feel relieved, but when he leaves the camp for good later on, it will finally wash over what really happened to his father.

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  15. I think that was the only thing Elie could think to say. No words could really describe the true feelings he had, the true joy he felt. He was FREE!! After a year of hell, he was free. He described it in the best way he possibly could.

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  16. I think that when Elie says Free at Last that means like finally no more duties. Because Elie needed to take care of his father. Tacking care of his father was hard at that moment for him. He needed to give a piece of his bread to his father and same with the soup. When his father would give up or die, Elie would encourage his father to don't to give up and move forward.

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