What is the goal of the main character?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a challenging question.  On one level, it is such a direct question.  Yet, so little in Wiesel's work is direct because of its complex and divergent nature.  Eliezer's "goal" is to stay alive.  His goal is survival.  This is different than most protagonists in literature.  Some protagonists' goals are quests where evil monsters reside, or situations where navigation between worlds is required.  To a certain extent, Eliezer has to endure this, but simply put, struggling to survive through the Holocaust might be more profound than any of these.  In the end, the narrative reflects Eliezer having to redefine his world and his understanding of his place in it.  From Sighet, and wondering about leaving his home, to camp after camp, where he is separated from family, separated from faith in God, separated from hope and joy, separated from life and living, Eliezer's primary goal is survival.  In the end, one can say that this is a small goal.  Perhaps, there is some credence to this, which only attests to how horrific the Holocaust truly was in that "survival" becomes the goal of the characters in such a sad tale.