In Night, what happens to the man who tries to steal soup?

In Night, the man who tries to steal soup winds up screaming and plunging his head into the hot liquid before being shot to death.

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As part of their inhuman and degrading treatment, the inmates of the camp are deliberately given insufficient food by their Nazi captors. Inmates are to be given only just enough food for them to be able to do the back-breaking toil that the SS expects out of them. The prisoners remain in a state of permanent hunger, unable to think about much else but where their next meal might be coming from.

One day, two cauldrons of hot, steaming soup are left unattended next to the kitchen. To men gripped by permanent hunger, this is very tempting indeed. But at the same time, everyone knows that anyone brave enough or foolish enough to eat some soup without the guards' permission will be in serious trouble.

Eventually, one of the prisoners approaches the soup, gingerly crawling his way to the unguarded cauldrons. When he gets there, he stares at the soup for a while before letting out a terrible scream, a death rattle the likes of which Elie has never heard before. He then thrusts his head, mouth wide open, into the still steaming soup. Sadly, this is the last thing that the man will ever do, as he's immediately cut down by a bullet.

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The fact that two unguarded cauldrons of soup are seen by the prisoners as "a royal feast going to waste" is a harsh indication of the realities of camp life. While only one man makes the move to go for the soup, it was an extreme temptation for many, and Wiesel describes "hundreds of eyes" checking out the cauldrons.

For one man in Block 37, "fear was greater than hunger," and he rises to the challenge, crawling like a snake in the direction of the unguarded soup. The watching prisoners feel a blend of envy and fear for him as he heads for the cauldrons, and their emotions turn to jealousy as he reaches his target.

Unfortunately for the man, the endeavor does not end well. While lying on the ground right by the cauldron, he is overcome by either weakness or fear. When he eventually summons the strength to pull himself up, he catches a glimpse of his reflection in the soup and, for reasons that Wiesel cannot explain, he lets out "a terrible scream" which Wiesel also describes as a "death rattle." After this, he plunges his whole head into the soup, which must still be close to boiling in temperature.

Transfixed as they were by the sight of their comrade seemingly losing his will to live, they are startled by the sound of the shot that ends his life. After being shot, the man who had the courage to make his way to the soup falls back to ground, "[writhes for] a few seconds" and then succumbs to death.

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At the end of section 4, the air raid sirens go off and the SS officers must take their positions.  The result is that the soup is left unguarded. Wiesel uses this moment to depict how life in the camps is one in which survival is a defining element.  The result of this is a dehumanization of those in the camp.  This is seen in the man who tries to steal the extra soup:

For a second, he seemed to be looking at himself in the soup, looking for his ghostly reflection there. Then, for no apparent reason, he let out a terrible scream, a death rattle such as I had never heard before and, with open mouth, thrust his head toward the still steaming liquid. We jumped at the sound of the shot. Falling to the ground, his face stained by the soup, the man writhed a few seconds at the base of the cauldron, and then he was still.

The way in which the man "snakes" across the ground is reflective of his hunger and also the dehumanization that has become intrinsic to life in the death camps.  Eliezer notes this and also notes how the other prisoners were moving with him, almost transferring their hunger to him and secretly coveting the opportunity he might get to experience.

The man is shot by the SS officers.  In their watchtowers, the SS officers were able to shoot the man trying to steal the soup.  In depicting this scene, Wiesel is able to show how the combination of fear and hunger defined life in the camps.  The struggle between both is the reason why the man sought to steal soup and why no one else voyaged out with him.  In both reactions, Wiesel reveals how life in the camps is one of dehumanization, in which the Nazis dehumanize the prisoners.  In a sad commentary, the prisoners often view one another as less than human, a reflection of the abuse suffered at the hands of the SS officers.  The instance in which the man seeks to steal the soup is an embodiment of this reality.  In showing how brutally difficult life is that a man would resort to stealing an extra ration of soup out of hunger and would then be shot in the back for it, Wiesel is able to illuminate the terror intrinsic to the Holocaust.

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