Explain how Eliezer's drive to live would constitute an external conflict.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest that Eliezer's need to survive is external because the people that have placed him in the predicament in which he finds himself are out to kill him and others like him.  The struggle to survive is external because the Nazis are intent on wiping out all of those who enter the camps.  Eliezer has to be seen in an external struggle for life because the Nazis demonstrate themselves as individuals who do not care about human life.  Thus, to maintain human life despite such a condition is a reality that he faces throughout the narrative.  It is here where one can see Eliezer's struggle for survival as an example of how there is an external conflict at play in the narrative.  Eliezer struggles with the Nazis as well as others who struggle for survival.  He battles with these forces in order to live.  It is here where the conflict can be seen as external, clearly being able to identify and articulate where there are forces that are equally driven to eliminate the other one.  In this, there is a sense that Eliezer's struggle does have internal implications only because the external struggle is such a pronounced one.