In the novel Night, discuss how Elie Wiesel is a different person from when he entered the concentration camps to when he left them.

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of the novel, Eliezer is a very religious young boy with dreams of one day learning Jewish mysticism known as Cabala. He enjoys his carefree life in Sighet where his father is a respected man, and Eliezer gets to spend his days studying the Torah and the Talmud. After the Germans occupy Hungary, Eliezer and his family are sent to various ghettos and concentration camps where they are separated from each other. In the concentration camps, Eliezer suffers malnutrition, both physical and psychological abuse, and lives in constant fear of being murdered by the Nazi soldiers. Eliezer's body endures extreme conditions as he is forced to march for miles in freezing snowstorms. The constant hunger and dire conditions force Eliezer to focus on his survival. At times, Eliezer even neglects the needs of his father in order to focus on his personal well-being. After witnessing such atrocities and surviving inhumane conditions, Eliezer is forever scarred with the traumatic images of dead bodies and grotesque living conditions. Eliezer loses his faith and does not believe that God exists. He cannot seem to understand why a benevolent God would allow such horrible acts of violence to happen. Eliezer no longer is a carefree young boy with a happy family. After losing the members of his family to Hitler's Final Solution, Eliezer is a broken individual with a negative view of humanity.

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