What is the theme of section/chapter 9 in Night?

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

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The theme of God and what the role of divinity is in the Holocaust is something that we see throughout the narrative.  In particular, we see it in the last section.  The fact that Eliezer is freed could represent the presence of God and the redemptive power of the divine.  Yet, this is undercut in several manners, similar to Eliezer's faith having been undercut in many instances throughout the narrative.  The fact that Eliezer has lived when all of his family has perished, and enters a new world of post- Death camp consciousness alone would represent an abandonment that is not consistent with divine grace.  When Eliezer looks into the mirror and cannot recognize what he sees, it might also remind the reader of the theme of maturation and change along with the idea of the divine.  The last time Eliezer was able to see his own reflection, it was complete with a faith in God, a belief in the power of the absolute.  Yet, what he sees in the mirror is a being that can no longer fully embrace or understand what has happened in terms of his relationship with the divine.  The feeling of forlornness is reminding of the theme of God that has been developed throughout the narrative.

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