The story is a sad one; one filled with despair around every corner and past every page. We begin to look on the characters that helped to create and personify the horror of the Holocaust. From Elie, to his father, Shlomo, or to the woman on the bus, and Moishe the Beadle; how does the character of Elie Wiesel, Change throughout the story – because he does. As we attempt to pick the brain of our author we begin to see the mastermind behind the novel, and maybe even understand some of the horror inked into the pages. First of all, let’s note the differences between our main character and the author.
Noting the change between these two is essential, it will help better understand the change of Elie in the story. They are the same person but as it is hard to write about and relive the events of the holocaust for our author, he changes a lot of the minor details to create a line between Elie and himself. Examples of this can be found in the book; while Wiesel writes that Elie injures his foot in the concentration camp, the reality is that Wiesel injures his knee. (Editoral) This book was not written to be a documentary, but an emotional journal, a purging of experience onto the pages of the book.
To, in a way, offer some insight and knowledge, in an attempt to try and erase some of the ignorance surrounding the holocaust. Elie’s most fundamental beliefs are tested in these happenings, his faith most of all. His faith in God, the judicial system, and in human beings in general is tested like never before. We look at Elie Wiesel, our author and narrator who is a young boy that is forced through a lot of torment. As a boy he was fond of his father, would do anything to protect him, his whole family for that matter, they were closely knit.
Moishe came to Shlomo and his family and tried to warn them of the imminent danger. To try and help them flee before it was too late, but it was all in vain. The Hungarian Police invade the small home town of Sighet and, by force, remove the Jews from their homes. The revulsions of the Concentration camp named Auschwitz’s Block 17 turn him into a battered man faster than he could have imagined. “Everybody out! Leave everything inside. Hurry up” they were forced to leave the place they called home with such speed and abrupt force; he really didn’t have time to adjust.
Block 17 did the adjusting for him. Elie grew up well off and didn’t have enough experience to know that food was not something that one should take for granted. He refused his first ration of food in the concentration camp, still silently holding off hope that this would all be over soon. He was thinking that soon he would be able to go home, to be back to doing what he was used to. Little did he know, the same bowl of soup he passed up would one day get one of his Jewish colleagues shot and killed.
Elie says; “I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name. ” Stripped of his name, age, hair, clothing, dignity, personality, and life, he continued to live as a number in the Nazi Concentration camp. Furthermore we consider the character of Eli’s father, Shlomo, and the role he played in the transformation of Elie. His character remains pretty much unchanged throughout the whole story. We don’t hear much about how Shlomo feels about the Holocaust; all that we hear is how his father being in the holocaust affects Elie.
We often hear Elie say that he wish he had done something about all the torture he had to endure. The reason Auschwitz’s was so bad for Elie, was mostly because he knew his dad was there going through the same things that he was. This hurt Elie, and broke him almost to the bone. His dad is the only reason that he doesn’t break, however; Elie feels like he has to stay strong for Shlomo. Elie is changed from the young wealthy boy with the perfect life to the prison hardened young man with nothing to look forward to.
He is forced to watch his father suffer through torture. He is more than the average protagonist; the antagonist in this story is the whole rest of the world. He is limited by his religion and the forces surrounding him to be something that he is not. He loved his father would do anything for him; he makes unthinkable decisions that will protect them in the end. Elie survives the worst of conditions, the harshest of attitudes, and the most unthinkable predicaments. He is indeed a warrior; and a worthy survivor of the Holocaust.
Courtney from Study Moose
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