What is important about these quotes from chapter 9 of Night? Can they reveal a character, irony, theme, or imagery? "We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth" and "After my father's death, nothing could touch me any more."

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The first quotation comes from the sixth section of Night, as Eliezer and the other prisoners are coming to the end of their arduous forced march from Buna. The prisoners have gone through so much pain, so much suffering, so much adversity, and yet survived, that they've become almost like gods, rather than men.

As with the second quotation, this highlights the process of dehumanization that the inmates of the camp have been forced to endure under the brutal regime of their Nazi captors. Yet in this case, the men have transcended their humanity, so much so that they no longer answer to the dictates of their biological needs. Trapped in what they now see as a godless universe, the prisoners have been forced to take on the role of gods themselves. The old moral law by which they'd previously lived their lives no longer has any relevance; all that's left is the imperative to survive.

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It seems to me the second quote, "After my father's death, nothing could touch me any more" is a significant part of the theme of desensitization in Night.  These are men who started out as human beings--they felt emotions, experienced relationships, had needs and wants and hopes and dreams. Soon, though, the humanity was beaten out of them, both literally and figuratively.  We have an chilling example of a son who eventually got to the point where he tried to deny his father even existed because it just took too much emotional energy to care about someone as much as one's self and one's survival.  

Elie fought this very emotion with his own father over and over;when his father was beaten once, Elie didn't even flinch. In fact, he actually walked away from his father at one point.  The son got another chance to respect his father, and he did remain a faithful son until his father died. This line, though, speaks of Elie's inability to expend any more emotional energy on anything--including himself.  Fortunately for him, rescue arrived soon. 

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