In "Night," what physical and emotional changes do the prisoners experience during their final months of imprisonment?
Compare and contrast the language in Chapters 6 through 9 with that of Chapters 1 through 5.
Based on the differences in vocabulary and dialogue, what kinds of physical and emotional changes do you think Wiesel, his father, and the other prisoners experience during their final months of imprisonment?
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The physical and emotional transformation of the prisoners is significant from the first half of the book to the last half of the book.
In the first half of the book the prisoners, Elie included are struggling to cope with their torturous plight in life. They struggle with their faith, beliefs, spirituality. They care about what happens to each other. Elie's language in the first half of the book is much more philosophical. He contemplates his own deeply rooted spirituality. We see him transform from a "deeply observant" twelve, almost thirteen year old into an adult who was robbed his childhood by the Nazis. He loses his family, his life, he questions God, and he learns to hate the Nazis.
In the last half of the book the prisoners transform from humans who have the wherewithal to discuss their faith and share camaraderie to humans that are in their most basis animal form operating solely on instinct for food and survival. Elie personifies death in chapter 6 because it is apparent for everyone. He write, "Death, which was settling in all around me, silently, gently. It would seize upon a sleeping person, steal into him and devour him bit by bit." In Chapter 7 Elie witnesses a man kill his own father for a crust of bread! The man was driven by his hunger and fight for survival that he did not even hear when his father begged for his life. The last half of the book is the final fight for survival.
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