What do we learn from Eliezer's story about the contrast between a world of justice and a world of injustice?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Certainly, I think that Wiesel pivots between the world where there is order and structure in the book's exposition in Sighet and the ordeal of the camps to follow.  The dehumanization and cruelty in the camps is in stark contrast to the world where people are treated with respect and dignity.  Yet, I think that a really interesting element is what Wiesel brings out in the first chapter with Moshe the Beadle.  The dehumanization and silencing of voice that is witnessed is not inside the camps, not inside Auschwitz, and without the presence of a gas chamber.  Rather, it is done in the town, itself.  It is done by those who were Jewish.  Moshe was ridiculed and mocked, a form of silencing voice.  The same dehumanization for which the Nazis are so known is evident in this moment.  The lesson gained is that cruelty and barbarism is evident in both worlds.  The Nazi world and the world where individuals silence one another through social malignment and exclusion are akin to one another.  In this, I think that there is a definite statement that while life in both worlds is strikingly different, there are behavioral elements in both that have to be eliminated in order for one to not become like the other.

wademorgan | Student

I guess if we were treated like animals, we would soon turn in to one.