Describe the hangings witnessed at Buna.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think Wiesel does a great job in bringing out the sad and horrific condition of the prisoners at this moment in the fourth section of the narrative.  On one hand, it is highly evident that the prisoners at Buna cannot really do anything.  It isn't like they can show outrage at the sight of the child dying.  They must be silent, and must suffer in silence at what is being witnessed.  Eliezer describes how he cannot shake the image of the child convulsing for thirty minutes to die.  The little child, the noose being too big, and the shaking and twisting while everyone could only watrch.  "God's angel" was being executed and there was little, if anything, that could be done in such an excruciating moment.  It is here where I think that the hangings are watched, observed, and understood as part of the daily existence of Buna.  While this might strike outrage in the reader, Wiesel does a wonderful job of placing the reader in these conditions.  It is his genius that enables a sense of silent mourning to grip the prisoners as they are made to walk past the men mudered, including the small boy.  When one of the prisoners makes the statement that "God is hanging" with the boy, it is a statement of the prisoners' state of mind in Buna.

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