In Night, why does Elie describe himself as a starved stomach?

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Elie describes himself as a starved or famished stomach because he's permanently hungry. This is because the Germans deliberately don't give the camp inmates enough to eat. As a result, hunger is widespread, and Eliezer's not the only one to find himself obsessed with food all the time.

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Elie describes himself as a starved or famished stomach because he's permanently hungry. This is because the Germans deliberately don't give the camp inmates enough to eat. As a result, hunger is widespread, and Eliezer's not the only one to find himself obsessed with food all the time.

It's a sign of how much Elie and his fellow inmates have been dehumanized that they're reduced to little more than stomachs, famished stomachs at that. As Elie tells us, he's not even just a body anymore; he's a stomach. His whole life revolves around food, which is in permanently short supply in the camp.

Elie is so hungry most of the time that food determines his whole being. It gets so that his stomach measures time between meals, and even when Elie does get fed, it's never enough. When the camp dentist has been thrown in prison, about to be hanged, Elie is relieved that his gold crown is safe. A gold tooth is a very valuable commodity in the camp, for as Elie tells us, it can be used to buy something, some extra bread or some extra time to live. Once again, Elie is thinking of his stomach. Or, to be more precise, his mind is being led by his stomach.

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