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  • Exposition
  • Ellie Wiesel grew up in a small town named Sighet, located in Transylvania. Elie takes a great interest in Moshie the Beadle and learning more about religion and increasing his faith. He is content with his life at this time but his whole life was about to change very soon. "By The story takes place in a small town named Sighet located in Transylvania. A young boy named Elie takes a great interest in learning about religion and figuring out his faith. He is content with his life but is soon to realize that this is all gonna change. "I met him in 1941. I was almost thirteen and deeply observant.By day I studied Talmud and by night I would run to the synagogueto weep over the destruction of the Temple." (Wiesel, 3)
  • Conflict
  • The holocaust had been going on for a few years now and the Jews of Sighet were confident the war would end before the Germans would reach them. Moshie the Beadle had come with news of what the Germans were doing but yet they did not listen to him. The Germans eventually came to Sighet and the story begins. ""The news is terrible," he said at last. And then one word:"Transports." (Wiesel, 13)
  • Rising Action
  • The Germans have now invaded Sighet and have made ghettos for them to conduct labor. They are then told that they will be shipped to concentration camps and begin to board cattle cars. Elie is put with his father and thus begins the journey to the first of many concentration camps. "A prolonged whistle pierced the air. The wheels began to grind. We were on our way" (Wiesel, 23)
  • Climax
  • Elie begins a treacherous long few years in concentration camps with his father. Here he is mentally broken, starved, beaten, and tortured. His love for his father increases and his faith in God decreases. "What are You, my God? I thought angrily. How do You compare to this stricken mass gathered to affirm to You their faith, their anger, their defiance? What does Your grandeur mean, Master of the Universe, in the face of all this cowardice, this decay, and this misery? Why do you go on troubling these poor people's wounded minds, their ailing bodies?" (Wiesel, 66)
  • After years of hard work and punishment the effects are really starting to show. Elie's father becomes sick, Elie's foot has become infected, and thousands are dying. They are forced to make a extremely far run to the next concentration camp and the contemplation of death consume Elie and his fathers mind. Do they give up now? "My foot was aching, I shivered with every step. Just a few more meters and it will be over. I'll fall. A small red flame… A shot…Death enveloped me, it suffocated me. It stuck to me like glue. I felt I could touch it. The idea of dying, of ceasing to be, began to fascinate me. To no longer exist." (Wiesel, 86) 
  • Falling Action
  • Resolution
  • Elie was liberated from this madness in April of 1945. His father had died leaving him in utter guilt. Elie felt selfishness at the end of the story but survives the Holocaust and takes that rarity and it scars him for the rest of his life. "From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me." (Wiesel, 111)
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