Why is Eliezer unable to weep in "Night"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Eliezer is unable to weep at this point in the narrative because the true horror of the Holocaust has been to remove him of his humanity.  In the narrative, Wiesel makes clear that the worst aspect of the Nazis' cruelty was that it eliminated the ability for the victims to demonstrate compassion, love, and sensitivity to one another.  The lack of caring, the lack of humanity is something that has been seen throughout the narrative, foreshadowed early on.  From Moshe the Beadle being received with scorn and disregard, to Madame Schachter being beaten by her fellow passengers, to the boy who attacks his father for extra bread that was stolen for his child, Wiesel draws a narrative where the most horrific element of the Holocaust was the idea that its victims were robbed of their humanity. It is for this reason that he is unable to weep, unable to feel the loss of his father.  The emotional sensitivity that was present early on in Eliezer's narrative is absent as the struggle for survival and living under the looming shadow of terror and brutality has taken over.  It is for this reason that Eliezer is unable to weep.

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