Night 2


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  • Why do you pray?
  • I don't know...
  • This quote at the very beginning of the novel shows Elie's true personality- a studious young Jew eager to learn everything possible about his faith. It also emphasizes how innocent and young he was before his horrible transformation began.
  • He wanted to drive the idea of studying Kabbalah out of my mind. In vain. I succeeded on my own in finding a master for myself in the person of Moishe the Beadle.
  • That was when I began to hate them, and my hatred remains our only link today. They were our first oppressors. They were the first faces of hell and death.
  • Faster! Faster! move you lazy good-for-nothings!
  • The hatred that Elie feels here is his first step in turning into the monster he eventually becomes. This event is his first taste of what is in store for him and his family. He begins to loathe his oppressors, and soon enough that hate will drive him very close to committing horrible atrocities.
  • This shows how changed Elie has become in such a short amount of time. The boy that just yesterday would have lashed out at his father's aggressor can now watch as his father is struck without so much as a blink. He still feels remorse, however that would not last long. He is dangerously close to completely giving in to his hatred, which would mark the end of his transformation into a creature of darkness.
  • The Gypsy stared at him for a long time, from head to toe. As if he wished to ascertain that the person addressing him was actually a creature of flesh and bone, a human being with a body and a belly. Then, as if waking from a deep sleep, he slapped my father with such a force that he fell down and then crawled back to his place on all fours. I stood petrified. What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent. Only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into this criminal's flesh. Had I changed that much? So fast? Remorse began to gnaw at me. All I could think was: I shall never forgive them for this.
  • I was nothing but a body. Perhaps even less: a famished stomach. The stomach alone was measuring time.
  • Through this quote we see that Elie has been consumed by darkness. He only cares about himself- his own survival is all that matters. He no longer feels for the suffering of others- he has seen too much of it to care anymore. Although this complete and utter transformation only lasts briefly, it still shows how quickly evil can spread and how it can fully contaminate even the most innocent people.
  • Here, a Jew posing as a French girl working in the same factory as Elie comforts comforts him after a beating and helps put him back on the right track. She helps him realize that the world is not his enemy. That it is important to pull through and continue being who he truly is. That he will have a chance to use his hate, but directing it at everyone around him would do him no good. She also showed him that there was still a light in a world that seemed completely consumed by darkness. I believe that this is what saved Elie from death; this girl that he barely knew gave him hope for a better future, a future in which he could let the world know not only his story but the story of the Jewish people as a whole during this tragic time.
  • 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...
  • When Elie came face to face with with what he had become, he refused to acknowledge that he was the same person as the thing staring back at him from the depths of the mirror. He refers to the being in the mirror as an entirely separate entity, and a dead one at that, calling it a corpse. The corpse was the body of darkness that Elie had temporally become. He was staring into the darkest part of himself, something that no one should ever have to see. This ultimately helped him turn back into a more mature version of the boy he once was and to ensure that he would never again become what he did.
  • From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes has never left me.
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