Can someone please help me with these questions?1. Describe village life in Sighet, including a brief description of Elie's life and family from the start of the text.   2. How do the Jews react...

Can someone please help me with these questions?

1. Describe village life in Sighet, including a brief description of Elie's life and family from the start of the text.


2. How do the Jews react to the outbreak of war to the arrival of the German soldiers into Hungary? How do they reacts to Moche's news?

3. Describe the different methods the Germans used to control and intimidate the Jewish people of Sighet.

4. What was the impact on Elie and his family of being under the control of the Hungarians and the Germans? Mention examples of physical, emotional and psychological effects.

5. How does the cattle wagon journey break the resistance of Jews?



Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The questions raised are quite powerful and resonate very clearly in the overall meaning of Wiesel's work.  At the start of the narrative, it seems like Sighet is not attune to the true force of chaos and uncertainty for Jewish people all over Europe.  There is a belief that what is happening outside is not transpiring here, and this is why Moshe the Beadle's warnings are not heeded by those in the village.  The spirit of denial and the rationalizations offered cause many in the village to silence Moshe, who for his part recognizes his being shunned and becomes silent himself.  It is quite significant that Jewish individuals themselves silence someone who both appears and speaks thoughts that are "different."  This same pattern of inhumanity will be apparent as the Nazis demonstrate their treatment of the Jewish people in the work.  Dividing Sighet into two ghettos, the imposition of Nazi rule with Anti- Semetic decrees are the first steps towards deportation and "the final solution."  At this point in the war, mid 1940s, the reality is that extermination became the driving force in the Nazis' relationship towards their victims.  There was a sense of disbelief that seems to pervade so many and this combined with the terrifying experience of reality, where the latter dispelled the former, helped to wither the spirit of those in the cattle car.  When all sense of reason abandons those in the car, as Madame Schachter is silenced physically from screaming, and Jewish men start to flirt with the women in the car, there is an overwhelming sense that reality is lost all sense of order, and that, to quote Yeats, "things fall apart, the center cannot hold."

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