How does young Elie view the world and his place in it at the beginning of Night?  

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Elie lived a fairly comfortable life at the beginning of Night and had no real reason to anticipate that things might change. He was the only son of a highly regarded Jewish businessman and community leader. He was deeply religious and frustrated that his father would not support his wishes to learn more about the Jewish mystical beliefs, but Elie's friend Moshe helped him with beginning a study of that area.

Elie, listening to the attitudes of his father and the other adult leaders of the Jewish community in Sighet, felt secure in Hungary. They did not believe those who spread alarms about the actions of the German nation and Hitler.

Annihilate an entire people? Wipe out a population dispersed throughout so many nations? So many millions of people! By what means? In the middle of the twentieth century! And thus my elders concerned themselves with all manner of things-strategy, diplomacy, politics, and Zionism-but not with their own fate.

Because of this purposeful ignorance of warning signs in the events that happened in other places, the Jews of Sighet, including Elie, viewed the world as not being a threat to them until it was too late to save themselves from the impending disaster.


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