Dire circumstances impact families in a variety of ways. Cite some of these different effects (using quotations and page numbers) that Wiesel shares in this section, and give some examples from...

Dire circumstances impact families in a variety of ways.

Cite some of these different effects (using quotations and page numbers) that Wiesel shares in this section, and give some examples from your own experiences.

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this particular topic can be examined in several ways.  Going back to the text and seeing how Wiesel explains these instances through language in the book will be essential in being able to explain these effects.  Certainly one moment that stands out in my mind is when the family arrives in Birkenau and in the separation, Elizer and his father is separated from mother and sister.  This is akin to how slavery's cruelty was the breaking of families through force.  It had a profound effect on Eliezer as one of his initial expressions of hope was that he and his family would endure difficulty together.  This breaking of the family was one of the first moments where Eliezer's hope was also broken.  It is significant that after this moment, we no longer hear of Eliezer's mother and sister.  It is almost as if that he had to push them out of his mind in order to survive.  This drive for survival leads to another example of familial difficulty when Elizer sees, on the run to Buna, the rabbi's son abandon his father in order to survive.  Eliezer promises to never do this to his father, but at Buchenwald, Eliezer's father begs for water, and Eliezer, in fear of being abused by the guards, does nothing.  His name are the last words on his father's lips, as he is taken away the next day.  Here again, one sees that the dire circumstances impact the bonds of family, as the struggle for survival supersedes emotional attachment.

Naturally, one can given their own personal impressions of how painful such a situation is to endure.  I would caution against trying to draw any paralell to such a situation unless there is some level of gravity and impact that is analogous.