Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please post your response for pg. 81-109

68 comments:

Timothy said...

Meir Katz is the strongest person in the group. Is losing faith really so deadly? Many other people also lost faith, but they didn't die. Why did Meir die?

Richard Sun said...

Why does Eliezer often say "How my father aged since last night!" What is the significance of this repetition?

Anthony said...

I would like to remind all that this story is a true retelling of Elie's experience. Some sections in the story that may play elemental siginificance in fiction may be of pure coincidence here. :D

--

"We were the masters of nature, the masters of the world. We had transcended everything--death, fatige, our natural needs. We were stronger than cold and hunger, stonger than the guns and the desire to die, doomed and rootless, nothing but numbers, we were the only men on earth."

This section was rather, say...disturbing to me. What does it mean? It is somehow clear and somewhat vague at the same time. What was Elie's chain of thoughts at the time? What made him "reflect" like this?

Richard Sun said...

TImothy:

Meir Katz was the strongest person on the train at first, but soon after he said that he couldn't go on anymore. Meir also cried because his son didn't pass the first selection. Only then did he start to cry for his son. Why he didn't cry before was because that he knew that he would has to live without his son, as every man is for himself. But when he loses faith in himself, he knows that he has a son that he could never forget.
How he cried also tells us that he totally lost his faith in himself. Even though he was less undernourished than the other people, when he lost his faith he had no will to live anymore, and this is why he died.

reuben wong said...

Timothy Luo: Meir’s death was an example of how harsh and deadly the camps were. A well-built and stable man like Meir fell to the hands of the concentration camps. These camps killed many relentlessly and those few who came out alive were very lucky. Meir was such a masculine man yet he couldn’t stand the brutal conditions of these horrid killing places. This death was an example about how atrocious these camps were, no matter how big or strong you were in these camps, death is something you will always be prone to.

In the beginning of this section, Elie kept pondering the fact about how others left their fathers for dead and that he wouldn’t dare come across this act. “He had felt his father grow weaker and, believing that the end was near, had thought by separation to free himself of a burden that could diminish his own chance of survival” He was thinking about that thought for a long time and he didn’t dare think about committing such an act to his father yet in the end he had that feeling and it happened. Was this part emphasized for foreshadowing purposes or hidden meanings were to be found?

Timothy said...

just another question:
Why doesn't Elie seem to appreciate his father's sacrifices at all?

Kathy C. said...

Timothy: I agree with Reuben, even though Meir might be the strongest person, it doesn’t mean that that person will not die or suffer. Just because someone is strong doesn’t mean
doesn’t mean they will not suffer.
---
my question: On page 91 in the big book, it says “ He had already gone through the door when I remembered that I had noticed his son running beside me. I had forgotten and so had not mentioned it to Rabbi Eliahu! ….. It was good that I had forgotten all that . And I was glad that Rabbi Eliahu continued to search for his beloved son.”

This quote is showing how Elie now cares more and more about his own survival than others. But why does he say “And I was glad that Rabbi Eliahu continued to search for his beloved son”? What is Elie saying?

Another question, Elie says,” Oh God, Master of Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahu’s son has done.” Do you think Elie will follow what he says ? Or will he leave his father? Why or why not?

andrew said...

"These were my thoughts when first heard the sound of a violin. A violin in the dark barrack where the dead were piled on top of the living? Who is this madman who played the violin here, at the edge of his own grave? or was it a hallucination? It had to be Juliek"

Juliek had brought his violin with him, why? why is he playing his violin?

Jackie Yang said...

"'Meir. Meir, my boy! Don't you recognize me? I'm your father... you're hurting me... you're killing your father! I've got some bread... for you too... for you too...' ... His son searched him, took the bread, and began to devour it... I was fifteen years old." (page 96 of the small book)

This quote totally took me by surprise. The father was about to take the bread for himself and only offered some to his son as to save his own life. Then, Meir kills his own father for food. The extent of which the harsh treatment has taken the Jews is incredible. Why does Elie include, "I was fifteen years old" in this paragraph? Was it to remind the reader how long he had to live through this torment [which was enough to turn father against son and vise versa]? Or was it to emphasize how young he experienced these reversals of roles? Also, what is your opinion of this quote?

Jackie Yang said...

This quote is showing how Elie now cares more and more about his own survival than others. But why does he say “And I was glad that Rabbi Eliahu continued to search for his beloved son”? What is Elie saying?

Kathy: I think he was glad the Rabbi continued his search so he would still have hope in finding his son. Also, Elie was probably glad about the fact that he didn't ruin the Rabbi's image of his beloved, faithful son. To learn that your son abandoned you for his own survival probably wouldn't make you very happy.

James Moh said...

Richard:
Eliezer says this to show how sick his father is and how the constant running is wearing down on him physically and mentally. He looked older, because he was more tired, more worn out, and had been through more. Because of this, he looked like he had aged.

------------------------------

At the end of the section on (the big book) page 112, it says "I did not weep, and it pained me that i could not weep. But i was out of tears. and deep inside me, if i could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, i might have found something like: Free at last!"

Why does Elie say this? What exactly is he free from? When he says this, it seems as if his father had died for nothing. What is the significance of this quote?

Diane said...

(pg 87 of the small book) "And, in spite of myself, a prayer rose in my heart, to that God in whom I no longer believed. My God, Lord of the Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahou's son has done."

Hasn't Eliezer already given up on God? Underneath, though, does he still believe in God? Is this an instictive thing for Eliezer?

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James: At the end of the section on (the big book) page 112, it says "I did not weep, and it pained me that i could not weep. But i was out of tears. and deep inside me, if i could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, i might have found something like: Free at last!"

My response: Eliezer has been haunted by the thoughts of abandoning his father and only taking care of himself. He was kinder than many other sons, who had already left their fathers. Eliezer stayed by his father's side until the end, although he seemed a little cold-hearted during his father's death. All the time, I think a small part of Eliezer kept nagging at him to abandon his father. Now since his father is dead, Eliezer feels relieved of the burden of his father.

liang said...

"Listen to me, boy. Don't forget that you're in a concentration camp. Here, ever man has to fight for himself and not think of anyone else. Even his father. Here, there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends. Everyone lives and dies alone. I'll give you a sound piece of advice - don't give your ration of bread and soup to your old father.

There's nothing you can do for him. And you're killing yourself. Instead, you ought to be having his ration." (pg. 105 small book)

What do you think this quote means? I think this shows the horrible truth about life in a concentration camp. You HAVE no one else. If you try to save someone else, you're pretty much dead yourself. Elie knows that this is true, but he can't let go of the fact that the person he's trying to ignore is his own father. You might think that he's a really bad child, but given the circumstances he was in, what would you do?

Helen said...

James:
Eliezer has been in the camp for more then 3 years, he has lost all his sympathy for anything or anyone. He only cares about himself. He has no more emotions, seeing babies being burned, people being hanged, people being shot. He has seen brutal things happened and has become use to these violent scenes. He has already cried and felt pain in the beginning, he "was out of tears". He has little conscience anymore survival is the only thing important to him. His fathers death was just like any others.
Maybe he was free from a burden. Like his father was always kinda burden to him, he was old, and sometimes caused trouble.
Question:
One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto.
"From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me.
The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me." (109 small)
what is the significance?

jasper luoh said...

Liang

I agree that the quote shows how the concentration camps make you into someone that you don't want to be, and how they isolate you from everyone, even your loved ones. However, I don't think Elie is being a bad child. First off, he is trying NOT to let go of his father, showing how he is devoted to his family, even though many children, like Rabbi Eliahu's son, have already given up on their older fathers. He says that when he gave his father his ration, he did so grudgingly, showing how the concentration camp has still affected him. I think that most people in Elie's position would have done the same thing that Rabbi Eliahu's son did. We already know that most of the children did, and we may say that we would be honorable and stay with our fathers, but who would know unless you were there by experience?

My Question
"And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside me, a prayer to this God in whom i no longer believed." (pg 91, big book)
Didn't Elie already pretty much renounce his religion by this point in the book? What do you think is the significance of him pray to God now? What makes him pray in the first place?

Sean said...

Helen: The quote shows the transformation Elie has gone through in concentration camp. All the deaths, torture, and starvation turned him into a lifeless "corpse," a person without feelings. The "look in his eyes" have never left Elie, showing how deeply affected he was by his childhood experiences at the concentration camp. Those horrible events shaped his character, and still shape him today.

Elissa Lee said...

Timothy: I think that is to show that even the strongest, fittest people can lose faith and die, that the Nazi German are capable of killing anyone, even of physical strength. It all depends on the personality and how much faith a person has lost.
Also, for your other question: I think that this is a time that the two of them have reversal of roles, Elie playing the father and his father the son. Also, now it is man for himself, not for each other, therefore no matter how hard Elie tries to care for his father, to appreciate him by his side, there is a bit of him thinking that he'd survive better off alone, without anyone to care for.
Richard: Elie emphasises this line because it shows how much labour and harsh treatment by the Nazi is slowly aging his father. Also, he repeats this because he is afraid - if his father is aging too much, he will soon be selected and taken to the gas chambers for death.
Kathy: I think Elie is glad that the Rabbi is still searching for his son - that way, Elie wouldn't be pressured to lie (when he told the rabbi he didn't know, then he forgot) or tell the truth of him. This way, as the rabbi is searching, he doesn't know how unfaithful his son is, abandoning him because the latter thinks the rabbi cannot go on. Well, since it's already the end of the book, yes, Elie does keep his promise to himself, to stay with his father until the end.
Jackie: I think this quote is sad and almost hard to believe. In our life, you can hardly imagine things like that happening - a father only offering food to his starving son to save his own life, and his own son killing him for a bite of bread! It's inhumane and displays of a part of the dehumanisation that is happening to the concentration camp prisoners. I think Elie mentioning his age is to show how young he was when he saw this - how young he was when he lost his innocence and realised how far human can go into dehumanisation, what human would do for his/her own survival.
James: Although Elie relentlessly sticks to his father (and to the prayer in which he vowed to do so), there is still a kind of relief when a burden (no matter how much you love it) is taken away from you. Somewhat like an old pet - it's sick and dying and maybe it creates a lot of trouble - perhaps it can't control its bowels and you have to check its temperature every day or hour, but it's been with you for so long, followed you loyally for so many years, you can't bear to just throw it away. Yet when the pet dies, even when you're crying your eyes out, there is still some type of relief, feeling of liberty from hours of caring for it. I think that is how Elie feels for his father - he loves him but the latter has became a burden to Elie.
Diane: I think that although Elie had already given up his faith in God, he is still somewhat accustomed to the ways he had before, the ways that he was taught ever since he was young and for fifteen years. I also think it's a type of desperation when he prays - it is the last straw and he does not know what else to do.
Or it's not really a prayer to God, it's more a promise he has to keep, to stay with his father.

=Fann.Chuni= 9B said...

In response to James,

I think the reason Eliezer says he is "free at last" is because he had mixed feelings towards his father. On one hand he cared for him and wanted to help him. On the other hand, he became a burden, a hopeless burden. In order to survive, one of the primary instincts of man, Eliezer wanted to lessen this burden by ignoring his filial piety. This shows us that his instincts for self-perseverance and survival overtook the long established sense of family hood. This is in a sense rather ironic because after staying with his father for so long, he decides to quasi leave him at the last moment.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

My questions:

1. On p. 90 of the big book. Eliezer's father smiled after Eliezer woke him up. Then he asks himself "what world did it come from?". Why does he ask this? Where do you think the smile came from?

2. On the last page of the big book on p. 115. Eliezer says that "a corpse is contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me." Why does he refer to his own image as that of a corpse that was contemplating him? What's the significance of it's gaze?

Andy Hsu said...

CHUNI:
I think that Elie has already lost the sense of happiness through the years of work at the concentration camp. He has already experienced hunger, pain, and all sorts of torture at the concentration camp. Also, Elie has always described his father in a manner of a tired, old, and unhappy man. When Elie was sleeping in the snow, his father woke him up, and Elie described his father, “completely twisted, shriveled up into itself. His eyes were petrified, his lips withered, decayed. Everything about him bore witness to extreme exhaustion. His voice was damp with tears and snow.”(84 of the small book) Therefore, when Elie saw his father smile, it was unfamiliar to him.

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"I knew that he must not drink. But he pleaded with me for so long that I gave in. Water was the worst poison he could have..."(pg. 104 in the small book)

Why is water the worst poison? After reading this passage, I realized that the Jews were never given water;they were given soup and coffee, but not water. Why?

Alice Chan said...

In this section of the novel, Elie’s father was weak after the journey and is nearing death. At first Elie only wanted to be by his father’s side, and taking care of him—“I held onto my father’s hand—the old, familiar fear: not to lose him.” But at the same time, Elie felt as if his father was a burden. When he went to look for his father a “thought came into my mind: “Don’t let me find him! If only I could get rid of this dead weight, so that could use all my strength to struggle for my own survival, and only worry about myself.” How could Elie be so selfish? It is very strangle how Elie changes his thinking very quickly—he cares about his father but later he doesn’t. You could see how much Elie has changed since he arrived at the concentration camp, he no longer cares about anyone else but only is concerned about himself.

When Elie first arrived at the concentration camp, he was still like a child. He wanted to be with his father every minute, like a child depending on his parents for everything. But as the novel continues, Elie first forgets about his mother and sisters, and then slowly forgeting about his father. Everything important to him slowly fades in his memory, and now he only thinks of himself and his own survival. But at the same time, he still has some child-like characteristics—“I held onto my father’s hand—the old, familiar fear: not to lose him.” As I said before, when he first came to Auschwitz concentration camp he was a very innocent child, and just for a moment he returns to his old-like-self. He was vulnerable, but as he continues to stay at the camp, he is used to the harsh conditions and he turns tough, he is learning to cope with it.

Alice Chan said...

Timothy: Meir Katz from the outside looks like at strong person, but on the inside he was weak from the very beginning.

Amy Chan said...

After reading this section, I think Wiesel makes this not just this part of his story, but other parts revolve around three significant main ideas:

The first main idea is dehumanization. Because Elie and the other Jews were forced to ride in a cramped carriage, with no food or water for many days, they are all extremely exausted and hungry. When the carriage stopped in a town one day, “ a workman took a piece of bread out of his bag and threw it into the wagon. There was a stampede. Dozens of starving men fought each other to death for a few crumbs. The German workmen took a lively interest in this spectacle.” The Jews seem to resemble wild animals in cage, while the German are curious spectators gawking at such a amusing sight. Because of harsh restrictions/conditions, they have changed not only physically, but mentally.

The second point is lost in faith. At times, Elie himself is uncertain about the exsistence of God, but he has not completely lost faith. During the march, most Jews ran on, no matter how tired they were, because they knew that if they gave up the fight, they would die eventually. While Elie and his father continued to struggle, others began to fall behind. In the end many Jews, including Elie and his father, made it to their destinations. Those who lost faith have a low chance of survial.

Lastly, the third point is survival. In the beginning, everyone was concerned about their family, but as the days in the concentration camp pass, things take change. We can see that Elie still cares about his father yet he sometimes cannot resist to keep only himself alive. This happened to everyone else. Even for food they have fought: “Meir. Meir my boy! Don’t you recognize me? I’m your father…you’re hurting me…you’re killing your father! I’ve got some bread for you too…” He collapsed. For higher chances of survial, they left their family members behind. Elie feels miserable when his father dies, but feels relieved at the same time, because he says “ free at last.” He is released from the burden of having to take care of his father.

Amy Chan said...

Richard:Why does Eliezer often say "How my father aged since last night!" What is the significance of this repetition?

Maybe it foreshadows that Elie's father s going to to die soon. Even if his father had escaped so many hovering between life and death situations, he is too old to cope with the rough conditions.

Jennifer Tang said...

In chapter 8, the father-son role is clearly reversed and Elie is forced to take care of his father. Under the harsh conditions, Elie’s father simply wants to lie down and rest in the snow, even though it somehow meant death. Elie’s father no longer cares about surviving, and acting like a child, he told Elie to leave him alone and let him sleep: “Don't shout, son. Take pity on your old father. Leave me to rest here. Just for a bit, I'm so tired at the end of my strength' He had become like a child, weak, timid, vulnerable." Elie’s father has clearly given up and Elie is forced to take the responsibility of his father, although he wasn’t too sure if he could handle it.
In the last chapter, although Elie feels relieved when his father dies, it is obvious that this emotion was just momentary because later on he deeply regrets it. After Elie’s father death, Elie’s life in the concentration camp was meaningless: "I have nothing to say of my life during this period. It no longer mattered. After my father's death, nothing could touch me any more." The narrator no longer gives important details because to Elie, there is really no more to tell after his father’s death. Elie’s story of life at Auschwitz and Buna has been with his father struggled together to survive, and after he dies, details are no longer important.
---------------------------
My Question: "I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me." what is the significance of this quote?

Jennifer Tang said...

Chuni: 1. On p. 90 of the big book. Eliezer's father smiled after Eliezer woke him up. Then he asks himself "what world did it come from?". Why does he ask this? Where do you think the smile came from?
---------------------------
I think his smile seems to indicate that, in the larger image of things, he realizes that the nightmare world of the concentration camp is just as short and insignificant as a dream.

Allen said...

At the end of the section on (the big book) page 112, it says "I did not weep, and it pained me that i could not weep. But i was out of tears. and deep inside me, if i could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, i might have found something like: Free at last!"

Why does Elie say this? What exactly is he free from? When he says this, it seems as if his father had died for nothing. What is the significance of this quote?

Elie says this because because he is sad, but he couldn't feel sad anymore. The significance of this quote is that Elie and the other Jews don't have any emotion left in them to feel anything. They have been through too much to even feel anything.



My question:
The prisoners on the train seemed to go crazy for bread. How did this happen to them? They were civilized before, but now?

Bess ku said...

Do you think Elie was hallucinating when he heard Juliek playing on his violin? If so, what was the significance?

Bess ku said...

Timothy:
Meir Katz seemed to be the strongest of the bunch but that was before they had to undergo the hardship of concentration camp. Meir Katz had lost his son during the first selection and that was a blow for him, for his son was all that was left of his family. The reality that his son was no longer there broke him down little by little. At the end, he was so tired, and he just gave up on faith. He didn't believe that he could live anymore, because he had nothing to live for.
Elie had said that death had seem tempting when the SS officers made them run miles and miles nonstop. It was only the presence of his father that made him continue, for he was the sole supporter of his father. He knew that if he died, his father would have given up on faith as well. Elie was living, half for the sake of his father.

Johnathan Lin said...

When the Jews were evacuating from the concentration camp, the journey was very tiring. They had to keep running and many of them gave up and died. I'm sure that all of them were tired. Some eventually gave up and died on the road. Others persevered through the journey and made it to their next destination, Buchenwald. What made some Jews give up and what made some Jews persevere?

Johnathan Lin said...

DIANE:
(pg 87 of the small book) "And, in spite of myself, a prayer rose in my heart, to that God in whom I no longer believed. My God, Lord of the Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahou's son has done."

Hasn't Eliezer already given up on God? Underneath, though, does he still believe in God? Is this an instictive thing for Eliezer?

Elie lost his faith in God when he came to the concentration camp. He could not believe that God would do such a horrible thing to his "chose people". But he was brought up as a Jew. He was born into a Jewish family and lived according to the Jewish customs since he was a little boy. He was taught that God was almighty and that He is the one to count on. He was taught to believe and have faith in God. Deep down, after all that he has seen in the concentration camp, he is still a Jew and he has his faith. It does become a kind of instictive thing to do for Elie to pray to God. He has been taught to pray to God whenever he's in trouble.

Kristen Wu said...

“Juliek, is it you?”
“Eliezer…the twenty-five strokes of the whip. Yes… I remember.”
He was silent. A long moment elapsed.
“How do you feel, Juliek?” I asked, less to know the answer than to hear that he could speak, that he was alive.
“All right, Eliezer… I’m getting on all right… hardly any air… worn out. My feet are swollen. It’s good to rest, but my violin…”
I though he had gone out of his mind. What use was the violin here?
“What, your violin?”
He gasped.
“I’m afraid… I’m afraid.. that they’ll break my violin… I’ve brought it with me.”
Why does Juliek remember Eliezer along with “the twenty-five strokes of the whip”? Does this show how a prisoner remembered things? By punishments? Explain your views.
What is the importance of his violin to Juliek, who played in the band at Buna? Why does he cling to it, and even run more than 42 miles with the extra weight of a violin?

sandra said...

richard:
Why does Eliezer often say "How my father aged since last night!" What is the significance of this repetition?
I think Elie repeats this because he wants to show what concentration camp can do to you in a short amount of time.
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The harsh conditions and lack of food made the prisoners act like animals. They strangled each other and "fought each other to death" just for a tiny bit of bread. They no longer cared about anything except for food. Meir Katz, the strongest man, lost hope and died. Elie kept by his father's side most of the time, but even so, he still felt that he was a burden. When his father was ill, Elie thought to himself that he "ought to be having two rations of bread, two rations of soup...." And when his father died, he thought that he was finally "free at last!" These examples all show what concentration camp can do to a person.

Kristen Wu said...

Johnathan: Some of the Jews gave up from exhaustion, lack of hope, and an overwhelming sense of despair. The people who persevered, and survived, probably clung to life because it was the last thing they had, and that they just wouldn’t give up and let go. As Elie said, “We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth….It was a long time since we had passed beyond the limits of fatigue. Our legs were moving mechanically, in spite of us, without us.” (Wiesel, 83) They no longer had any thoughts. They just kept on running, because it was the only thing they could do. And they didn’t think of it much after they passed the limits of exhaustion. They just ran on and on.

Dawn Chen said...

"I wanted to see myself in the mirror ... I had not seen myself since the ghetto.
From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me.
The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me." (Pg. 109)

Why does Elie choose to close the book this way? I think it's a really depressing way to end the chapter on liberation. I know he must feel very upset about it all, but I still thought there could have been more.

Diane: I think Elie didn't really disbelieve, he just didn't trust God anymore. However, after this, he began to feel once again that God would save him.

Tyng-Yih Lin said...

During the last few chapters, we see the Jewish being selfish in many situations. This is due to the SS and Nazis deliberately manipulating them, so that they act less like a group and more like individuals. Here are a few examples:
”I soon forgot him. I began to think of myself again.”
“Knowing that I was crushing him, preventing him from breathing, I wanted to get up and allow him to breathe. But I myself was crushed under the weight of the other bodies. I had difficulty breathing.”
“The volunteers undressed him and eagerly shared his garments. Then, two “gravediggers” grabbed him by the head and feet and threw him from the wagon.”

Will these Jews ever return to their normal self again? Or would they permanently change? Will they change in a positive way or negative way?

Frank 9B said...

Why do you think Elie Wiesel's relationship and caring for his father starts to deteriorate and disappear? Do you think his behavior is acceptable? Especially when he starts to think that if his father dies, he would have double rations and one less person to take care of. Do you think this is because Elie Wiesel is growing up to be a man to care about himself or is he being brainwashed by the concentration camps?

Kevin Lin said...

Another question, Elie says,” Oh God, Master of Universe, give me strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahu's son has done.” Do you think Elie will follow what he says ? Or will he leave his father? Why or why not?
To Kathy C:
I think this quote is very significant because it is what most people would do under the same circumstance and what Eliezer almost did when his father was dying in the concentration camp. I think that when a person is already in the state of living dead, he or she will care mostly about himself, not his or her loved ones or family members. It is not the loyalty that they do not have, but the desire of living a better life they are trying to get. In Eliezer's situation, at the end of the novel, he gave his soup to his father, but with a black heart. It meant that h's kind heart wanted to help his father, to let him live; but on the other hand, his own consciousness is thinking that he needs the soup. That he cannot give it away.

Question:
Do you think if not for the resistance group, they would have escaped the German's wrath? If all the Jews were scared of dying, what do you think would have happened to them all? Would they have been shot to death? What else?

Stanley Su said...

Timothy: Meir Katz may be a strong person but after he lost his son during the first selection. That must have hurt him deeply and he must have been emotionally hurt. During his time at the concentration camp, Meir seriously doubted his faith. He lost his son, he has to work extremely day and night, and his people are dying day by day. He lost his faith because to him it seems that there isnt a merciful god protecting them.

Haley said...

In page 91 ( the big book ) :
"And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside me, a prayer to this God in whom i no longer believed."

My question is, I thought Elie had already give up in God, but why does he pray now? What is his intention?

FRANK:
With tons of suffering, I think Elie starts to care about his own safety, and wonder if he could get rescued. Like others, they don't have the time to care about others.

Nick said...

On Page 96, he was in a wagon whten they threw bread in the wagon, and people were tring to get it from each other, but why does he say"I was fifteen years old."

Nick said...

To Richard
It shows how much his father has weakened within so much time. His father is old and need to rely on Eliezer.

Tereasa Ho said...

Frank: I don't think his relationship "disappears", it was just overcame by his thoughts to break through survival. I think he is already probably the best out of all the kids, especially Rabbi Eliahou's son. Elie made a promise to himself that he would not do anything like the Rabbi's son, and he didn't.

I don't think it is Elie Wiesel is growing up to be a man to care about himself, but rather just a glimpse of illusionary dream, about how good it would be if he had another ration of bread and soup. So yes, I think he was "brainwashed" by concentration camps.


My Question:
Why did Meir Katz get left behind? Wasn't he the strongest?

Robert 9b said...

Liang:
I think that passage shows what concentration camps make people into. Under the SS officers’ torture, the Jews were forced to starve and work. This makes them yearn for survival. They acknowledge the fact that if you want to survive; you have to forget anyone around you. Elie wanted to get rid of his father but he also wanted to take care of him at the same time. This is why when his father was sent to the crematory, he didn’t weep but he felt pain that he didn’t cry. I think I would go for survival rather than relationships if I were in the camp.

albert said...

"'Mei, my little Mei! Don't you reconginize me.. Your're killing your father... I have bread... for you too.. for you too...'" What is the signifigance of the quote?

Timonthy: I think Eli was too caught up in surviving for himself to care about his father.

Weifan Chang 9A #20 said...

albert:

put quite simply, little Meir was killing his own father for a piece of bread. It's startling to find that the prisoners have degenerated to such an state that they no longer care about their loved ones. It literally becomes "Survival of the fittest"


===================================
My question:

Why did they, even after they had eaten their fill, think about revenge?

Jerry Yeh said...

Q: "From the depth of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me"p. 109
what does the mirror symbolize

Jerry Yeh said...

wei fan: after filling up their tummy they would want to revenge is normal. normal people doesn't have the temper to hold back their anger after suffering this much.

Kristin Kiang said...

Question:
"I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I was out of tears. And deep inside me, if I could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, I might have found something like: Free at last!..." pg, 112 big book.

Why "free at last"? What is the significance of this quote?

Steven Chiang said...

pg 81-109 night response
“I listened to him without interrupting. He was right, I thought in the most secret region of my heart, but I dared not admit it. It’s too late to save your old father, I said to myself. You ought to be having two rations of bread, two rations of soup...” (Wiesel 105) Why does Wiesel even think of abandoning his father like many of the sons in the concentration camp have done? Has he forgotten all that his father had done for him? Is his desire for survival taking over his once deep love for his family?

Kristin Kiang said...

Responses
Kathy: I think the only reason that Eli was glad is because he still saw some love left. Love was hope in this story, because everyone had basically lost love for their beloved ones.

Frank: Although the story describes how Elie loses love for his father, Elie is struggling to keep it at least.The strongest live, and the weak die. This also applies to animals too; the weak and sick animals are usually eaten by predators and the strongest ones are usually left alone.In society, it is also the same- the rich live and the poor struggles. I think that every living thing on earth is born with selfishness, its the only thing we have to keep us surviving. If we weren't selfish, then we won't think about wanting food or water for ourselves.

Haley:
I think Elie is invoking God's forgiveness for his betrayal against him. He starts praying, hoping that God might forgive him for his actions.

tyng yi:The effect of the concentration camps would forever be etched into their minds. However, it is possible for a person to recover from such a disaster. Time heals everything.

kimichen said...

In the beginning of the chapter, Elie starts to think, “Don’t think, don't stop, run!” Obviously, all he is thinking now is to live, survive, and not to die. And also the part where Elis soon forgot Zalman, now all he is think about surviving. Here is my question, why did he soon and easily forget about Zalman? Is it because, all he’s thinking now is about surviving and not dying? Or what?

jasminechen said...

When the prisoners, from the concentration camp, ran to a village that was many miles away, they were beaten if they slacked off. People who stopped running had to get killed by the SS officers. What does the group of prisoners running represent? What did the SS officers represent? What do the guns that kill the prisoners represent? Why couldn't the SS officers beat the prisoners with sticks instead of shooting with guns? Sticks don't hurt that much and don't cost that much money. Also, shooting with guns have a larger possiblity to miss their targets. Why did they have to run during nighttime? What is the significance of nighttime?

jasminechen said...

Kimi:

In the beginning of the chapter, Elie starts to think, “Don’t think, don't stop, run!” Obviously, all he is thinking now is to live, survive, and not to die. And also the part where Elis soon forgot Zalman, now all he is think about surviving. Here is my question, why did he soon and easily forget about Zalman? Is it because, all he’s thinking now is about surviving and not dying? Or what?

--------

Elie soon forgets about Zalman, because survival is extremely important to him. When the prisoners were running, they feared getting beaten by the SS officers. Elie cared only about surviving, because he doesn't want to die. He still has hope in living. At the concentration camp where the prisoners were, the prisoners were happy that they were going to leave the concentration camp off to somewhere else even if they were going to somewhere worse than before. This meant that he still has hope in survival. Elie thinks only about survival. If he slacks off thinking somewhere else, he might get killed. He is aware that he might die like Zalman. When people see death really happening in front of them, people living would then worry only about themselves surviving in order to not become the people that died. In spite that his foot is injured, he still keeps on running even if his injury worsens and become weaker. What's more important--his life or his foot? Definitely, he'd pick his life to be top priority. If he cared more about his foot, then he'd stop running and soon get killed.

hannah chu said...

Up to the point of the story, I was scared and shock at the same time. Especially the part when Eliezer woke and found his father’s body missing. “I awoke on January 29 at dawn. In my father’s place lay another invalid. They must have taken him away before dawn and carried him to the crematory. He may still have been breathing. There were no prayers at his grave. No candles were lit to his memory. His last word was my name. A summons, to which I did not respond.”(Wiesel, 106) I pain hit me when I read this part. Stepping in shoes into his situation, I could feel the loss and the same pain that he might’ve felt then. But one thing that’s different is that, I would feel free. This free, it’s not for me, but to my father who had suffered so long can finally be freed from this torture and cold. “I might perhaps have found something like-free at last!” (Wiesel, 106) In my own experience, it’s something that’s lighter than this horrifying situation. But the part of loosing someone, I’ve lost my grandmother from my mother’s side just one year ago. I did not cry, or rather couldn’t. It was so sudden that you could not even speak of it or think about it. I’ve spend lots of time with her the year I spend in New Jersey. We always go to New York to visit her, and go back to New Jersey at weekdays. All this time, I’ve never made a special bond with her, especially an old woman like her. I regretted that I did not even feel sorrow to know she passes away. But as for Eliezer situation, it’s almost the same except more in a different environment. It struck me that it reminds me of my grandmother, the moment she passed away. I notice, the way Elie Wiesel describe really hit people, and implies to a lot of situation some people might’ve gone through.

hannah chu said...

"I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I had no more tears. And, in the depth of my being, in the recesses of my weakened conscience, could I have search it, I might perhaps have found something like-free at last!"

What does Elie mean when he said, "found something like-free at last!" ?
Does he mean, he's free from the burden of his father? Or free because he could finally survive through without trouble?

Kimberly Hsieh said...

“Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. That’s all we thought about. No thought of revenge or of parents. Only of bread. And even when we were no longer hungry, not one of us thought of revenge. The next day, a few of the young men ran into Weimar to bring back some potatoes and clothes—and to sleep with girls. But still no trace of revenge.” Why didn’t they want revenge? They have been treated like animals for such a long time, do they not care about their past? I had thoughts like that when I was reading it. However, after I thought for a while, maybe living the present is better than thinking about the past.
Dawn: he wants to show how he has changed in person from the ghetto and also emphasizing on how much time he has been treated as an animal by the SS. However, he is still Elie.

Adam Jian said...

Hannah,
I think Eliezer feels ”free at last” because he doesn’t have to make sacrifices for his father like giving up a portion of bread to be next to him. Eliezer tries to take care of himself but he also had to give up his soup to his father. Eliezer is almost glad that his father died so that he could eat his own portion now. But I still think that Eliezer was grieving for his father in a way because after he’s fathers death, nothing really “matter to him any more”. He feels bad for feeling like that after his father’s death, but for his own survival, he had to forget about him.

Adam Jian said...

“My son, they are beating me!” (Page 109, bigger book)
I think this quote is very ironic. Usually kids complain to parent and ask them for help but in this case, it was the father asking his son for help. My question is this, what led Eliezer’s father into this state? How come Eliezer didn’t go crazy as his father did?
“Then they got angry; they could not stand my father any longer, they said, because he no longer was able to drag himself outside to relieve himself.” (Page 109)

Ted L. said...

I think that this chapter was his final blow of dehumanization. When he made that prayer that he did not want to become like the rabbi's son, i think that was a bit of foreshadowing, that he will become like that. And it is later proven when his father finally died but he did not cry, instead he felt glad and relieved.

Kimberly: I think when people are driven to that point of desperation, they lose all hope and all hate. Their only desire is survival and food. That is why there are sons beating their dads to death for food.

Ted Wu said...

To Frank: At the end of the book, Eliezer's father had suffered from running, hunger, and grief. There are also times where Eliezer thought of abandon his father to receive "two rations of bread and two rations of soup". Eliezer also had a heavy burden, because he has to take care and protect his father. The reversal of roles in the concentration camps is also prominent. On the train, men cried for grief and the “lament spread from wagon to wagon. It was contagious. And now hundreds of cries rose at once.” I think Eliezer was liberated to desert his father because of his selfish less heart rather than to eliminate his burden. Eliezer lamented his father’s death, however he knew that in order to survive in the camp, he couldn’t let personal feelings hinder him. Also, I think when Eliezer said, “Free at last…”, he was grateful that his father was dead, because his father finally can elude the nightmare rather than fighting with Death painfully.
My Question:
What is the significance of sleeping?

Shannon L said...

this sucks, how Elie's dad dies, and Elie never got to say good-bye, because he was more or less ignoring his dad. It sounds cruel to not even care about your own dad, like the rabbi's son, Meir, and Elie, but we weren't in their position, so it isn't in our place to look on their behavior with disgust. I just feel sorry for them. I bet they came to regret it, even as they did it.

Doris Lin said...

On page 86 (small book), Elie narrates, “I shall always remember that smile. From which world did it come from?”

What does he mean with that question? Is he implying that the smile was so weird looking that it seemed unnatural? Or is he asking this rhetorical question because he could not believe that his father still had the emotion to smile?

I think that the latter is more likely, and if it is true, that what sort of cynical, bitter boy has Elie become that he would think this way, to disbelieve a smile? I find it extremely sad that a little boy would question a smile; but knowing what he has gone through, perhaps it’s not that astonishing.

fernando said...

It started to get into chaos! the Jews had become not human, no time to pray, but trying to survive under the control of the SS officers.

To Timothy,

Meir Katz is the strongest person in the group. But losing a son can cause a big damage to Meir Katz, nothing nothing can compare the death of family. he died probaly because he have already lost his faith, his son, so Meir Katz thinks that his life is useless.

demi said...

I think Elie might be hallucinating when he heard Juliek playing violin. One of the reason is how can Juliek possibly have a violin there? I think it's sort of impossible to sneak one in. The significance of this part is probably to show how hopeful their minds are.

my question: Whats the savagery that causes sons to kill fathers?

Matthew Li said...

What's the significance of Juliek playing the violin?


Chuni
1. On p. 90 of the big book. Eliezer's father smiled after Eliezer woke him up. Then he asks himself "what world did it come from?". Why does he ask this? Where do you think the smile came from?


I think he asks this because he thinks its impossible that one can still smile like that in the times of desperation and pain. He thinks the smile is almost unbelievable, wondering where in the world it came from. I think the smile came from a father's pride in his son.

Michael Wu said...

On pages 100-101 of the big book, it discusses the way needy and desperate people fight over the smallest of things, even violently hurting others just to get a tiny part of bread crumbs or a few coins. Under these circumstances, is it better to give the crumbs or coins or not? Is it worth it, is it actually helping them or is it making it worse?

Michael Wu said...

Jerry Yeh,
The mirror symbolizes introspection, looking at himself and who he is. Through his eyes he can see that he has changed a lot, he has been through suffering, and when he describes his own body as a "corpse" it shows how emaciated and malnourished and weak he has become overall.

Jasper Huang #8 9A (-Wolf) said...

Q : “One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me”
What is the significance of this quote? What does it show about the influence of the Holocaust?

A: After the Holocaust, Elie looks completely different from the innocent boy he was before the tortures he suffered. A corpse is dead, so Elie seeing himself as a dead object implies that he has experienced horrors that caused parts of him once important to die: his freedom, his family, his faith in God, his childhood and innocence. This line also has some irony, for even though he has survived the Holocaust physically, he still is basically dead, because his soul was destroyed by the horrors he had witnessed and endured, and is now just an empty shell, numb to pain and unable to feel sorrow for his losses.
On the other hand, when Elie says that “the look in his eyes, as he stared into mine…” shows the being he sees in the reflection as a different person, separate from whom he really is inside, where a shred of his former, innocent side still exists, and that he still has a chance to save his soul, and recover from the horrors of what he has suffered. Even thought the memories of the concentration camps will haunt him for the rest of his life, there is a hope, because he hasn’t succumbed to them, and his mind is still free.

Q: Out of all the prisoners forced to run during the freezing weather, only Elie and a few others are able to survive this “trial”. Why is it that some are able to make it through the run, while most other Jews die?