Eliezer Internal Conflicts caused by the Guilt of Surviving Essays

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In Elie Wiesel’s Day, the protagonist Eliezer has a past that continually influences his daily life. As a survivor of the Holocaust, he is constantly reminded of his friends and family who perished in the camps. Eliezer lived in a concentration camp for five years, where he witnessed death and the inhumane acts of murder. Since he has already experienced death, he is not afraid of it or the afterlife. These haunting memories inflict pain upon Eliezer and cause him to feel that life is not worth living. He mentions continually throughout the novel that he wishes he were dead. These feelings are caused by the guilt that he carries for surviving when compared to the fate of others. Throughout his time in the hospital, Eliezer struggles with …show more content…
Doctor Russel asks Eliezer, “Why do you not care about living?” (60). Eliezer’s first reaction is to panic, proving to the audience that Doctor Russel’s impression is right: “for a moment everything shook. Even the light flickered and changed color. It was white, red, and black. The blood was beating in my temples. My head was no longer my own” (60). The author provides this passage with Eliezer’s internal thoughts to demonstrate the initial fear that the protagonist feels when he recognizes that Dr. Russel is has started to understand his situation. Also, Wiesel uses this passage to convey the work’s most prevalent themes: death and survivors desire to be released from the guilt they suffer from surviving terrible events. Wiesel uses the repetition of Eliezer stating to himself, “He knows. He knows. He knows” (60) to illustrate Eliezer’s worry that the doctor has actually figured out that he no longer wants to live. Eliezer than calms and realizes “his guessing is nothing. An impression. That’s all. Nothing definite. Nothing worked out.” (60).This statement was made by Eliezer to reassure himself that the doctor is not entirely certain about why Eliezer does not to want to live. Eliezer wants to continue to live in the past which creates a pain for him which he is comfortable with. When the doctor figures out that he no longer wants to live, this causes Eliezer to panic because he wants his
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