How have Eliezer's thoughts and feelings changed since he identified with Job while in Auschwitz?

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

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The fundamental connection between Job and Eliezer at Auschwitz is the strict examination of God's presence and his benevolence.  At this point in the work, Eliezer is stripped of his name and given a number, "A- 7713."  He has also been stripped of his mother and sister, signifying a dissolution in his family.  The suffering Eliezer has endured up to this point has caused him to identify with Job, who also felt betrayed and abandoned by God. As he identified with Job, Eliezer begins to understand his struggle to exist as one where God's power of benevolence is not present.  Eliezer changes as a result of this by being able to embrace a survivalist existence, where little in terms of hope and redemption is revealed.  In the final analysis, this abandonment becomes one of the most painful aspects in Wiesel's work.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In Eli Wiesel's book "Night" he states

“Some of the men spoke of God: His mysterious ways, the sins of the Jewish people, and the redemption to come. As for me, I had ceased to pray. I concurred with Job!”

In the Hebrew bible Job has his faith tested by Satan over and over again.  Job struggles to understand evil, pain, and suffering with the existence of God and God's promises to the Jews.  Job understands that the suffering he is experiencing has been caused by nothing he has done in his life.  He does not understand why God would let him suffer so.  Job questions God in the bible and Elie does the same.  He has trouble understanding God's existence in a world and how God could allow such cruelty.  Elie waits to hear from God just as Job had done. He chooses to be silent because he knows there is no answer for him.

Eli states: "How I sympathized with Job!  I did not deny God's existence, but I doubted His absolute justice." (42)

Pages are different depending on the version of  "Night." The accounts in the books are the same, but some of the wording is a little different. 


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