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  • At the start of the story, Elie is forced away from his mother and the rest of his family in Sighet. Elie had never experienced something like this before and he has not built the strength yet to handle separation from his family easily.
  • Eight simple, short words. Yet that was the moment when I left my mother. There was no time to think, and I already I felt my father's hand press against mine: we were alone.
  • Men to the left! Women to the right!
  • On the first night in Auschwitz, Elie has already lost all hope. He begins to focus on all of the negative aspects of the camp around him and he knows he will never forget the painstaking journey that awaits him the next morning.
  • Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever.
  • Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
  • At this point in the novel when Elie is working on a camp under the ruthless Idek, he seems to have lost all hope. However, just when Elie loses all of his strength, the French girl motivates him to move on, and inspires Elie to keep his hope alive.
  • Bite your lips, little brother... Don't cry. Keep your anger, your hate, for another day, for later. The day will come but not now... Wait. Clench your teeth and wait.
  • At this point in the novel, when Elie is at the Buna camp, he is aware that his father is in danger, but he disregards it because he would be happier to see the factory go up in flames. His hatred for the Nazis seems to be greater than his love for his father.
  • “‘They’re bombing the Buna factory," someone shouted. I anxiously thought of my father, who was at work. But I was glad nevertheless. To watch that factory go up in flames- what revenge!
  • Toward the end of the novel when Elie's father is dying, the thought runs across Elie's mind to abandon his father. However, Elie comes to his senses and is very disappointed in himself that he would even think of leaving his father after all they've been through.
  • If only I didn’t find him! If only I were relieved of this responsibility, I could use all my strength to fight for my own survival, to take care only of myself… Instantly, I felt ashamed, ashamed of myself forever.
  • At the end of the novel, Elie is in Buchenwald waiting for the Front to arrive. It is clear that after losing his father and mother, a part of Elie has died inside and he cannot even think about them any longer.
  • It no longer mattered. Since my father's death, nothing mattered to me anymore.
  • From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me.
  • I spent days in total idleness. With only one desire: to eat. I no longer thought of my father, or my mother.
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