I Live A Thousand Years Themes

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In I Have Lived a Thousand Years, by Livia Bitton-Jackson, the cynical attitudes of the Nazis, lead to the ill-treatment of Jews. The somber events which took place during World War II, are authentically represented by the plot of the novel, and evidently shape the attitudes and actions which the characters display. Specifically, this novel illustrates the strenuous events from the point of view of a Jewish family: the Friedmanns. The persecution Jews face, not only shapes the plot of the novel, but also supports the development of the theme: hope. Both the plot, as well as characters, work in cooperation to produce situations which directly support the theme. During their incredible challenges, the family’s hope is strengthened through their…show more content…
Contradictory to her mother, Elli becomes motivated and hopeful; despite the abuse both encounter, Ellis newly developed attitudes helps her mother. Essentially, the development of Ellis character is the rationale as to how her mother, along with herself, gain freedom. Along with motivating her mother, Elli willingly risks her life to remain alongside her mother. The SS soldiers separate certain women for transport, and other women for the gas chambers; Ellie and her mother are separated. Ellie, aware that she is being sent to the gas chambers, quickly devises a plan in order to escape. “Like lightening I climb over the chest-high, brick partition, and duck for a moment. In a flash I yank off the dress, and dash to the end of the dwindling line” (140). Ellis maturity allows for her to display realistic, rather than optimistic thoughts. This allows her to realise she must avoid separation from her mother. It is undeniable, that if Elli is caught disobeying orders, her life would promptly be taken by a soldier; however, Elli realizes for her survival, it is a necessary action. By successfully dodging this obstacle, Elli and her mother strongly believe there…show more content…
Contradictory to this belief, Elli never shows any sign of discourage, or losing hope. Through any horrible situation, Elli always looks for the bright side. The initial sight of a concentration camp is neither nice, nor appealing. But Elli is able to enjoy the sight, and appreciate her life. “It is July 1944, and I am alive. Thirteen and a half, and alive. It is a clear, beautiful day” (112). Many Jews, including Ellis mother, experience immediate shock and depression due to the sorrowful sites of a concentration camp. It is evident to Elli that being pessimistic will do her no good, and she therefore decides to remain persistently positive. This advancement of Ellis character, allows for her to remain hopeful. Along with being positive living in a concentration camp, Elli has essentially forgotten what it is like to be respected; seeing as, she is happy to be referred to as a number code. After each woman is dressed the same, and their heads are shaved, no personality, or identity lies between them. The soldiers then assign a number code to each Jew, “I am no longer anonymous. I have a name. It is A-17360”(122). Rather than feeling offended or disrespected by being referred to as a number, Elli is pleased to have an identity. Jews are essentially brainwashed into being thankful for this number, and feeling as if their existence is acknowledged. By previously being stripped of
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