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  • Exposition
  • Conflict
  • Rising Action
  • The story begins with the introduction of Moishe the Beadle and Eliezer Wiesel. Elie lives in a town called Sighet in Transylvania where he lives with his father, mother, and three sisters. Elie's father is a well-respected man in the town but has little emotional connection with his family. Elie is an extremely religious and devout Jew who focuses his life on his religious studies on the Kabbalah. He wanted to further his studies by finding a Kabbalist to guide him and meets Moishe the Beadle who becomes his Kabbalist. Everyday life in Sighet went on as no one worried about the ongoing war since it did not directly affect them. This would soon change.
  • Climax
  • One day, Moishe gets deported for being a foreign Jew and when he returns he tries to warn the people of Sighet about what he saw. The people of Sighet chose to not believe him and go on with their everyday life. Soon, the German arrive and at first seem kind and polite. But, on the seventh day of Passover, the German soldiers' attitudes change and they start to impose restrictions on the Sighet Jews. At first, came the harsh restrictions and then the creation of the Ghettos. Elie and other Jews soon get used to the life in the Ghettos and form their own governmental institutions. This too will soon change.
  • Falling Action
  • Two weeks before Shavuot, news spreads about the Jews in the Sighet Ghettos being transported to an unknown destination. The Jews were transported to Birkenau where Elie and his father are separated from the rest of his family. From there Elie and his father are taken to Auschwitz and then to Buna where Elie and his father face beatings and the selection. Throughout these events, Elie continues to lose faith in God and eventually gives up altogether when the pipel is hanged. Soon, news comes of the Red Army nearing the camp and everyone is ordered to march to Gleiwitz where Elie starts to see his fathers deteriorating health.
  • Resolution
  • Elie and his father arrive in Buchenwald. Elie's father is admitted to the infirmary due to dysentery. His health continues to get worse and Elie seems to be able to do nothing. He hates himself for not being able to help his father in fear of the German soldiers. One day, Elie stays behind with his father and watches as he continues to writhe in pain. His father calls out to him, but Elie does not reply for there were German soldiers present and he did not want to get into trouble. On January 29th, 1945,  Elie's finds his father dead.
  • Elie remains in Buchenwald until April 11th, 1945. With his father gone, Elie has no more motivation to do anything. To him, nothing mattered anymore. On April 10th, 1945, Elie and the other Jews are liberated by the American forces. They were free and the first act they commit as free men was relinquishing their hunger.
  • Once liberated, Elie becomes sick because of some sort of poisoning and spends three weeks in the hospital. One day, he gets up and looks at himself in the mirror and instead of seeing himself, all he sees is a corpse. Elie realizes that he is no longer the boy that he used to be. Before him lay a completely different person, one who no longer held faith in God and the justice in the world. Elie was no longer the little devout Jewish boy from Sighet, but rather someone who had faced intense cruelty and abuse which changed him emotionally and mentally forever.
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