Night Plot Diagram
By sreyau, Updated
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In 1941, Elie is 13 and lives with his family in a small town called Sighet. He is extremely religious and seeks a master to guide him in his studies. He studies with Moishe the Beadle, learning about Mysticism. They talked for hours at a time and studied for many evenings until one day all foreign Jews were expelled from Sighet, including Moishe.
Hitler and the Nazis are persecuting Jews everywhere, and young Elie and his family are affected. Foreign Jews are expelled and as the front moves closer to Sighet, Germans come in and take control. The main conflict throughout the book is Elie and his father struggling and fighting to survive in the concentration camps they are sent to.
Although Moishe comes back and warns the Jews of the danger they face, they don't believe him and stay positive. Germans arrest leaders and three edicts are passed. Jews can't leave their residences for three days, they can't own valuables, and they have to wear the yellow star. Eventually, everyone is separated into two ghettos. Life returns to normal until people are told they must move to the other ghetto. Soon after, Jews are shipped off in cattle cars to concentration camps.
Elie gets separated from his mother and sisters at Birkenau. Elie and his father go to Buna to work in a factory together. Elie experiences death, suffering, and sadness, all of which begin to make him question his faith and question God.
Elie injures his foot and is sent to the infirmary. The camp is evacuated and Elie and his father choose to leave with the rest of the prisoners instead of staying in the infirmary. They march through the snow with no food or water all the way to Gleiwitz, where those who survived are once again put on cattle cars. They reach Buchenwald with only twelve people still alive, including Elie and his father.
Elie's father dies in Buchenwald and he feels grief but also a sense of relief. On April 11, 1945 Elie is liberated from the concentration camp. He goes to a hospital where he sees himself in the mirror for the first time since the ghetto. He says, “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." Although Elie survived this awful ordeal, it changed him forever and he couldn't recognize himself after.
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