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Language Arts

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THEME: DIGNITY IN THE FACE OF HUMAN CRUELTYA central idea of a narrative the writer expresses The cruelties the prisoners faced at the camps are unimaginable, but their ability to retain joy whilst there helped them survive. "To the very last moment, a germ of hope stayed alive in our hearts." The Jews of Sighet had heard of the Nazi attrocities ahead of them, but refused to accept them and remain ignorant of their fates. This hope of safe haven kept their spirits high for the horrid days ahead. Without this, they may have been quicker to give in to the cruelties they faced much sooner than most did.

MOTIF: EYESA recurring word, object, or image with a relationship to a theme "His eyes became blank." The quotation of the eyes throughout the book show emotions and soul. This quote shows how the people changed in the camps, and what their effects on the people were. Throughout, Elie notes how people's eyes had changed after he reunited with them after the latter was tortured to exposed to unimaginable images. He speaks of how they aged, or how their eyes became blank, without emotion. The eyes were representations of the person's humanity.

HISTORICAL CONTEXTThe use of historical content to show idealogy of a certain time  Historical context gives the reader a wider understanding of when the events of the story occur. "Haven't you heard about [Auschwitz]? In 1944?" During this time, this was the first the Sighet people had heard of the camp. Word had not spread as the prisoners expected, and gives the reader the impression of how secret this was kept to the Jewish communities. Other information regarding SS guards like Doctor Josef Mengele are expanded upon in this section, like what roles he had at the camp.




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