How does Elie experience internal conflicts?
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Elie's internal conflict shifts in an interesting, unexpected way. Initially his hatred is for the Nazis and this fuels him in a sense. However, after some time in the camp, as his father grows weaker, Elie begins to turn his anger toward him, and his weakness. He states that once, after his father is beaten by a Kapo, that Elie himself had wanted to hit him. When his father began to die, Elie began to wish for the end, and felt relief when it was over. This caused greater conflict within him, as he felt guilty for wishing his father dead and hating him for becoming ill and weak.
In Night, Elie's biggest internal conflict is the way he feels about his father and God. He struggles with these two issues more than any others. Yes, Elie hates the Nazis for what they have done, but Elie is beginning to hate his own father, as well.
When Elie first arrives at Auschwitz, his main concern is staying with his father and making sure his father stays safe. The longer they are held prisoners, the more resentful Elie is becoming of his father. He feels like his father is getting weaker, therefore increasing the chances for them to be called out. When his father lays dying, Elie is struggling with the fact that he feels almost relief. He thinks that he will have more food when his father dies, and when his father gets beat, Elie even thinks about hitting him, as well. This internal conflict stays with Elie for a long time.
Elie's faith in God is the biggest internal conflict. Elie believes that God has abandoned him and the rest of the Jews and has turned His back on all of them. He questions how a loving God can let all these horrible things happen. He struggles daily with the thought that God has left him on his own. It takes Elie many years to come back to his faith, but that is the true nature of faith. God was right there waiting for him when he came back.
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