Coping With Loss, Mechanisms Of The Human Mind

1743 Words Dec 12th, 2014 7 Pages
Coping with Loss; Mechanisms of the Human Mind When one loses someone or something valuable to them, the grief can be intense. But what happens when what they lose is actually a piece of them? Novels depicting a witness account of The Holocaust (1941 - 1945) paint a picture of the violence and moral anguish, which is accompanied by a loss to the protagonist. The plot shows a process of events that ultimately leads to death and devastation. Both protagonists in Elie Wiesel’s Night and Wladyslaw Szpilman’s The Pianist gradually fall into the abyss of inhumane behaviour. Post Holocaust, they embark on a new life free from social restraints and become either unmindful or compliant to the losses they faced on their journey. Elie and Wladyslaw are representations of the thought process of the human mind and how it uses defense mechanisms to cope with loss. Both the coping methods explored in the novels are polar opposites; however, both stem from the fear of succumbing to the emotional distress the loss will cause. Whether it is of little or great significance, loss is an everyday phenomenon; one’s personality is revealed in the way they handle the situation and deal with the loss. The Nazis running the Buchenwald concentration camp strip Elie Wiesel and his fellow Jewish prisoners of their identity. Elie’s hair is shaved, he is dressed like all of the other prisoners, and is forced to be identified by a number, rather than a name. As he states once entering the camp, “I became…
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