Ms. GrimeseyLaftsis, Helena Ostrander9/6 English15. 11.
12 How do Elie`s life experiences during WWII change him physically, mentally and emotionally? In Elie Wiesel `s book Night the author shows how he himself changed during WWII. In camps such as Birkenau, Buna and Auschwitz people change. They lose faith, hope, families and their physicality. Every day, we go through situations that affect us in some way. The more difficult situation is, the more of an effect it has on us. A few days it`s enough to change the personality of a Human and to start acting like hungry animals.
Elie`s experiences during WWII change him change him a lot physically, mentally and emotionally. In Hitler`s concentration camps the Jews were abused, starved and freezing. People who had power in the camps were the strongest. They could beat whoever and whenever they wanted to. Once Elie cross the path of Idek while he was nervous and he started hitting him so hard, “He threw himself on me like a wild beast, beating me in the chest, on my head, throwing me to the ground and picking me up again, crushing me with ever more violent bows, until I was covered in blood” (Wiesel, 53).
This quote shows us how unfair was life in those camps to the people that didn`t have power. The powerful ones were hitting the people so hard and they did not care about them. During the winter the Jews were freezing because they didn’t have such things as blankets, gloves and hats. While Elie was going to Buchenwald camp he said “We were nothing but frozen bodies” (Wiesel, 100). In this quote Elie Wiesel literally describes himself and his others fellows as nothing more but “frozen bodies”. They didn`t receive any food and ate only snow.
During the night they were lying on top of each other just so they don`t freeze so fast. Another cause of a physical change is malnutrition. Their food was insufficient and all of the people lost a lot of weight. A few days after the liberation of Buchenwald Elie finally saw himself in the mirror, “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me” (Wiesel, 115). Ellie describes his body as if he has the body of a dead person. He lost so much weight in the camp that he couldn`t even recognize himself.
He last saw himself when he was still in the ghetto, now when he finally sees himself in the mirror he is shocked because of the change in his body. Elie has a physical change because life there was very hard. Unfortunately “physical change” wasn’t the only change that he experienced during the period when he was in the camps. Elie change emotionally soon after entering the camps. He becomes very close to his father in the camp, they are always helping and supporting each other during hard times. But during the years when he was in the camp he stopped caring about his family, friends and everything that he cared before.
When they split his family he stayed with his father and only a few days was enough to change Elie`s personality, “My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked” (Wiesel, 39). This quotes shows us from its own words “I had not even blinked” how much has Elie change throughout the WWII. It also shows us how cruel and selfish he has become. He doesn’t even care for his father anymore. Another good example for an emotionally change is when Elie`s dad died, “I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep…at last” (Wiesel, 112). Even at his dad funeral he did not even cried.
He tried to cry but he couldn`t. This shows us how much the camp changed him. The camp teaches them to live only for themselves and to not help anyone even their own fathers, “I knew he was running out of strength, close to death, and yet I had abandoned him (Wiesel, 10). This quote shows us that even though his dad was very sick and was close to death, Elie left him alone. Which mean that he doesn`t care for his dad anymore because if he cared he would do anything possible to help his dad. Elie changed from being a nice caring person to a heart-colded, selfish monster.
In such camps people change a lot in their religious beliefs and learn that they only live for themselves. You shouldn`t help your fellows because in there your life is more important. In those camps there aren’t such things as brothers, sisters, fathers you should care only about yourself, “I gave him what was left of my soup. But my heart was heavy. ” (Wiesel, 107). He gives his soup to his father but not willingly. He change a lot in the concentration camps. Elie also change his religious beliefs during this period when he was in the camps.
At the beginning of the novel he was very religious but after the WWII he stopped believing in God,” Blessed be God`s name? Why, but why would I bless Him? ” (Wiesel, 67). He doesn`t understand why he should bless God name if he permits to the Germans to manipulate them like this. He lost hope and faith in him, “Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. ” (Wiesel, 34) This quote shows us with its own word “murdered” that for him God is dead. Because of the camps he lost faith in God and turned his dreams into ashes.
In those camps people stop having faith in God and understand that they should live for themselves; they should not care about the others. Before the war Elie was considered as a deeply religious young boy Elie but everything change since he arrived in the camps. He lost faith in god. In those camps Ellie and his fellows were like slaves; they were only working and almost didn`t had nothing to eat. The SS policemen were beating them whenever they wanted to without having pity for them. Only a few days were enough to change Elie mentally, emotionally and physically.