Children of the World
Learn about Children
in Our Time
Akiba High School, Merion, PA + Kfar Hanoar Mosenson, Magdiel - Hod Hasharon
I'm sorry I'm late
Response to Ortal
Hi and response
Ayelet and Kim
Back to list of forums
I would like to apologies for doing this late, the reasons for the delay are various and so if you want to know them, you are welcome to E-Mail me :-). I don't think anybody of us know how they could deal, or how Elie should have dealt with this situation, if we could connect ourselves a bit to the first part, to the beginning, than I doubt anyone of us can identify with Elie now. Elie has been to much, in such a short period, his whole view of the world and of the nature of man kind has been crushed, twisted, shattered, so he Himself is confused and scared. It is as though he had been transferred from Earth, to a totally new, alien society, one which he had never heard of before, just like we tend to hide our true selves and not to reveal our true nature when we are in a new society and not sure how it is custom to act. Elie hasn't necessarily changed, yes, he is acting different, but maybe this is the way Elie acts usually when he is in a alien society, unconfident in himself, acting slowly when it comes to making decisions. No, I don't think Elie has changed so much, it is the same Elie he has been before, but now he is in a new environment. I think it was a smart move not to run to help his father by attacking the guy who hit him, yes, it seems that it is the right thing to do, the honorable thing to do. But not realistic, it would cause himself and his father more pain if he did such a foolish thing. In these cases, his mind should lead him, not his heart. Naturally, at the time where he thinks against his father, and not only acts "against" him by not helping, then he has truly changed, when the tough life has changed his pattern of thinking. Hope I was clear enough this time. :-)
Better late than never Benny. How does your assessment fit in with out discussion about 'detachment?"
What do you mean exactly, how is Elie detached from his real self? I think I didn't understnd the topic
We discussed personality changes in class and referred specifically to detachment. Were you not in class?
Elie has always respected his parents, just like it says in the Bible. However, by the time Elie got to the concentration camp he had already changed from the concerned and loving son he had always been to a dispassionate survivor. When Elie�s father was being beaten brutally by the Capo Elie just stood by and did absolutely nothing to help his father, and doing as such is a complete contradiction for the actual concept of respecting your parents. However, if Elie had defended his father he and his father might have both been killed by the Capo. Elie may have realised that no good will happen if he would try to help his father and it would almost certainly worsen the situation. Elie was afraid that if he would try to help his father it would lead to his own death and his father�s death as well. Elie has changed in the way that before he would have tried to save his father from the Capo, where as now he stands quietly in the background and does nothing in order to help his suffering father. In my opinion, people should not judge Elie and his actions because no one could ever know how he might have reacted and what he might have done if he was in Elie�s shoes and had to face this situation.
Ortal I read what you wrote with interest. They were extraordinary times. Could we describe his state of mind as one of 'detachment'? (Remember our discussion in class?)
I think the fact that Eli changes so quickly is because he never thought that he could see his father, a man that in his eyes is so strong, in a situation (beaten by a kapo) like this, is a very hard and awful thing for a young boy to see, it could even influence him so much, especially along with the horrors of the camps, that he will become a whole different person. he hates himself for not helping his father and this hate makes him harsher, less sensitive, and he dont know were to direct this hate.
Nice to see you are participating on the forum Gal.
Hey Gal We disagree just a bit. We all feel that camp mentality was "every man for himself." Unfortunately this conflicts with human nature. Humans are "pack animals." We depend on each other, form communities and families. Eli had to feel conflicted because his natural human instincts were in controversy. With this knowledge we have come to the conclusion that we can't form a conclusion. The position that Eli was put in is so foreign to us that we could never fully comprehend. On a more personal note: Hey, how are you? Love, Becca, Leah & Aliza P.S. Please send us a picture!
I think that Eli�s dilemma was very challenging especially for a boy like Eli who loved his father. Eli�s first encounter with death occurs when he saw, the babies thrown into the fire. I assume that this encounter with death changed Eli and his opinion on life. I suppose Eli was doing the right thing, by not interfering and helping his father, I think that Eli would have reacted differently in a dissimilar situation. It was a matter of life and death for Eli, because if he had helped his father perhaps the Kapo would have killed them both.
Hey there! I totally agree with you! If he would have helped his father they both would have been killed, or the Capo could have made it worse for his father. At this case not helping, is the biggest help he could supply.
I am glad you are taking such an interest in all the forum entries. Keep it up.
Dear Shachaf, We finished the book a few days ago. we thought it was intresting, as well as the things you told us. Thanks for sharing your views and opinions with us. We would love to hear whats going on with you, let us know what you like to do. We would really like to get to know you and find out what your interests are. So keep us updated. bye kim and Ayelet
Throughout pages 21-43 Eli goes through a transformation. He changes from a loving and concerned son to a dispassionate survivor. When his father is brutally beaten by a Kapo, Eli does nothing to help him and at the same time he breaks one of the commandments- Honor Thy Mother and Father. I believe that the reason Eli acted in such a selfish way is because the only way people could survive in the Ghetto�s was to stand aside. After he went through such a horrible time, watching babies burn, people killed for no reason, and being separated from his mother and sister. I think, that by showing any resistance towards the Nazis, Eli would of gotten himself killed and maybe his father too. Therefore he just stood aside and watched his father getting beaten by a Kapo.
Amit, by this time Eli was no longer in the ghetto, he had arrived at Auschwitz.
I belive that the fact that Eli didn't help his father when he was beaten shows us about the emotional distress he was in. Eli was just seperated from his mothr and from his sisterand he saw horrible sights such as babies being burned. He smelled the stench coming from it. All of these things, I belive, can efect a person in two possible ways: making one lose his mind or changing his chracter to a closed person and to a survivor, consetrating only on himself. This, I belive, was the reason which made Eli not help his father - He was a survivor. I think that he didn't think at that moment about any of the ten commendments, he just wanted to survive, hoping that his father will do so too.
Not consciously maybe.
In this forum I was asked to write about how and why Elie was transformed from a loving and concerned son to a dispassionate survivor. If you wish to address this question I would suggest reading through one of my classmates� forum entries for I have decided to argue a different point to this subject. I believe that one can deduce that Elie had kept calm and stayed level-headed rather than caused his and his father�s situation to get worse. For instance, when Elie�s father was beaten brutally by one of the Kapos, he did not react, he simply stood by the side and watched. This action could have resulted either from Elie�s fear of the Kapo or from intelligence which Elie possessed. Elie may have realised that no good will occur if he tried to help his father and it may in fact had worsened the situation. Imagine what would have happened if Elie had reacted and lets say attacked the Kapo in honour of his father. Elie himself would have been beaten up. Therefore causing him and his father agony, as his father would have been watching. Perhaps even dire things could have transpired, for example, Elie�s father may had tried to help his son and gotten thrashed by the Kapo again, worsening both Eli�s and his father�s situation. Consequently, in my opinion, people should not be so quick to judge Elie�s actions and remark that he had become a dispassionate survivor.
I agree with you, we cannot and should not judge Eli. But that is not our purpose is it?
In any problem please contact the school's staff at