what would i do

Topics: Elie Wiesel, Auschwitz concentration camp, Nobel Peace Prize Pages: 2 (616 words) Published: February 10, 2014
In many works of literature, both fiction and nonfiction, the death of a character profoundly affects one or more of the other characters in the work. In his memoir Night, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel describes how he watched his father die an agonizing death in a Nazi concentration camp, near the end of World War II. Elie also describes how his father’s torment and death affected him, transforming him into a hollow shell of a person. When Elie and his father arrived at the camp, the older man, already greatly weakened, lacked the energy and the will to go on. His father saw the corpses buried under the snow but was so exhausted that he only wanted to join them. Elie knew that his father had given up and wished to die, but the teenager refused to abandon hope. He screamed at his father and argued with him, feeling that he was arguing with death itself. Although Elie loved his father and wanted him to survive, he also longed to be free from the burden of helping him so that he could focus on his own struggle for survival. Of course, such thoughts filled Elie with tremendous feelings of guilt and shame. A sense of love and duty made Elie continue to care for his father, who was deathly ill with dysentery. Elie even gave some of his own meager ration of food to his father and did his best to comfort him. When his father finally died, after a Nazi officer crushed his skull, Elie did not cry—he had suffered so much and had witnessed so much suffering that he had no tears left. Elie spent two more months in the concentration camp before Allied troops finally arrived to liberate the camp. During those months, nothing mattered to Elie; the experience of his father’s death had paralyzed him physically and emotionally. Nothing could touch him, he said. He even stopped thinking about his father. Elie did nothing all day long; the only thing he wished to do was to eat. That is just what he and his fellow prisoners did when their liberators finally arrived: they threw...
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