At the end of the book Wiesel describes himself as a corpse. In what way did he die during the holocaust?   night by elie wisel

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There are sadly so many ways to answer this question.  Perhaps, one way in which Eliezer died was with the death of his faith, something he was relegated to questioning and denouncing with the atrocities he endured and viewed.  Another form of death was the severance to his community, as the Jewish people of Sighet were forced into camps and never were able to live together as a community.  Yet one other form of death could be the separation of his family, with Eliezer never seeing his mother and sister again.  The more painful experience on this end would be with his father, a situation where Eliezer had no choice but to watch his father die and not be able to do anything about it.  The last words on his father's lips was the son's name, who did not respond to it.  Another level of death could be the idea of a child who loved life and everything in it maturing into a young man who could only think of surviving.  In this light, Eliezer's death is the death of his soul so that he is almost animalistic in his pursuit of survival.

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Imagine what people had to endure and survive during the Holocaust - the things they had witnessed, the losses they had suffered and often before their own eyes, the long term physical and emotional abuse, physical starvation, hard labor.

Any psychologist will tell you that it is virtually impossible to come through such events unscarred, and that was true of Elie as well.  He shut off a part of his brain, his emotion and his being in order to survive, and having survived it, there was some of that humanity he could never regain.  A part of his life was permanently destroyed, as it was in everyone who survived the Holocaust.

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