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In Night, what eight words separate Elie and his family forever?

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jose16 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:05 AM via web

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In Night, what eight words separate Elie and his family forever?

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cmcqueeney | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted February 18, 2009 at 9:36 AM (Answer #3)

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In the third section of the book, Elie arrives at Auschwitz with his family.  As they depart from the train, the SS officers command, "Men to the left! Women to the right!"

Elie responds with the thoughts, "Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion.  Eight short, simple words.  Yet that was the moment when I parted from my mother.  I had not had time to think, but already I felt the pressure of my father's hand; we were alone."  After that time, Elie never sees his mother or sisters again.  The scene emphasizes the cold cruelty of the Nazi guards, and the tragedies that were daily wrought upon the Jews in the concentration camps.  Elie lost the majority of his family in a single, indifferent moment.

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