Assess how Eliezer sees himself in the world.

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

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I think that one has to examine the closing image of the narrative in order to launch the exploration towards a significant answer to the question.  Eliezer looks at himself in the mirror and does not recognize the person he sees.  The eyes he sees staring back at him are reminiscent of a "corpse."  I think that this represents, to a large extent, how Eliezer sees himself in the world.  He is alone from a physical point of view.  Psychologically and spiritually, in terms of how he views his relationship with God, he can be seen as alone, as well.  The bonds that once connected him with the divine have been ruptured through his experience.  Yet, I think that the constant companions of those who perished will stay with him.  This becomes "the eyes" that stare back at him.  In the most powerful of ways, Eliezer no longer is alone in terms of what his experiences carry with him.  Eliezer is constantly guided by the fact that he might be physically alone, but the memories of those who suffered and died alongside him will always be with him.  In this, Eliezer sees himself as alone in the world, but simultaneously attached to the memories and experiences of what others endured as he endured it.  In this, Eliezer cannot relinquish his connections to others, but these links exist as part of a tortured and horrific past.

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