The Character Study of Chlomo in Night by Elie Wiesel

The Character Study of Chlomo in Night by Elie Wiesel

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The Character Study of Chlomo in Night by Elie Wiesel



How would you describe Chlomo:
• At the very beginning of the novel- What is represented as being important to him? Find two quotes to illustrate this?

Chlomo is an extremely respected man in Sighet and even though his name is only said once he plays a big role in everyone's life. "My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man" This tells us that Chlomo is not a sensitive man and he does not show emotion.

Throughout the novel he helps others with there problems and people came to him for advice." The Jewish community in Sighet held him in the greatest esteem" This quote tells us how much the community in Sighet relies on him.
Before and after the deportation of the Jews he was never concerned with himself, all he ever worried about was his family and others around him. Like his son, Chlomo was very religious at the start of the novel and questioned the faith as they arrived at Auswitz as he saw babies being killed.

• "At the very end of the novel- what is represented as being important? Find two quotes to illustrate this".

Throughout the novel "Night" Elies dad (Chlomo), does what ever he can so that he can stick with his son Elie, he sticks up for his son and tries to protect him. In the Novel, "Don't lose faith in yourself" that symbolizes all Chlomos stands for. In the novel he represents survival and strength up until his death. Being the only father figure up until his death Chlomo sticks by Elie for his survival and Elie relies on him. When Chlomo does that, it means that Chlomo has great hope in life and he knows that Elie will survive the journey.

Chlomo helps Elie develops his mind and teaches him how to stay along with the group and how to survive in the horrific conditions. At end of the novel all the things that Chlomo represents and symbolized remain only in Elie as he dies, "this is the end I'm going to die here".

What are the major changes Chlomo endures both physically and emotionally?

Initially Chlomo is introduced to as a Holy man of the village and the father of Ellie. A stern man and rarely shows any emotion at home. He is interested in the affairs of the other villagers and they come to him for guidance and advice, he is seen as a wise man.

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However Chlomo changes both physically and emotionally, as a direct result of his imprisonment at the concentration camps.

For much of the novel, outward, Chlomo remains the stern, wise father of Ellie and really the only strong paternal figure in the book. However his desperation and need for survival are eminent as soon as they arrive at the camp. He stays by Ellie throughout this time up until his death and he struggles for survival. His emotional stability began to deteriorate when he saw the dead and the realised the reality of their fate. Chlomo always reacts badly to the dead he sees in the camps. This may be as perhaps he sees himself in the dead, as if to say Chlomo had accepted his fate and the fate of the Jewish people at the camps. He remains by Ellie and reassures his son and tells others not to lose faith, "you must resist, don't lose faith in yourself". However even Chlomo begins to lose faith as his fate becomes closer, "I can see them son….let them sleep".

Chlomo's physical changes become apparent once at the concentration camp. Like the other prisoner's, due to the sudden lack of food and sustenance, Chlomo loses weight and his appearance begins to change. As result of the harsh conditions in the camp Chlomo gradually begins to look older and his face continually grows pale. He became weaker day by day, also as a result of him being beaten frequently for reasons such as not marching in rhythm and for asking where the lavatories were. He would eat Ellie's rations as he became weaker and weaker. Before the time of his death, Chlomo becomes sick and loses all his strength, "he grew weaker day by day…his face the colour of dead leaves".

Chlomo's presence in the novel is one of strength and authority. His paternal figure and his changes both physically and emotionally are vividly portrayed. His emotional stability and physical strength vary throughout the novel and differ from beginning to end. Both changes take place as a direct result of Chlomo's imprisonment and his experiences give us a realistic view on the impact and horror of war.
Give quotes either said by him, Elie or others that help explain his reactions to these stages of his personal ordeal.

The Council meeting
"I've got a premonition of evil" pg 23 Elies Mother

"I have terrible news,' he said at last. "Deportation." Pg 24 Chlomo

The Arrival at Auschwitz

"It's a shame…a shame that you couldn't have gone with your mother…I saw several boys your age going with their mothers" pg 43-44 Chlomo

"Father," I said "if that is so, I don't want to wait here, I'm going to run the electric wire, that would be better than slow agony in the flames" pg 44 Elie

Franek and the marching

"No son, you mustn't do it,"
"He'll take it out on us"
"He won't dare" pg 66 Elie and Chlomo

"look at this little officer teach the old chap to march…Hey, general, how many rations of bread does the old boy give you for this?" pg 67 Prisoners

The celebration of the New Year

"What are you, My God!" pg 78 Elie

The "selection"

"Look, take this knife," he said to me "I don't need it any longer. It might be useful to you. And take this spoon as well. Don't sell them. Quickly! Go on. Take what I'm giving you!" pg 86 Chlomo

The long march from Buna

"Faster you swine, you filthy son of bitches!" pg 96 soldiers

"Not here…Get up…A little farther on there's a shed over there…Come on" pg 99 Elie

The train trip to Buchenwald

"Father! Father! Wake up. They're trying to throw you out of the carriage…" pg 110 Elie

"No!" I cried. "He isn't dead! Not yet!" pg 110 Elie

His final days at Buchenwald

"Father," I said. "Only another moment more. Soon we can lie down in a bed. You can rest…" pg 116 Elie

"I can't go on…This is the end…I'm going to die here" pg 116 Chlomo

"They didn't give us anything…they said that of we were ill we should diesoon anyway and it would be a pity to waste the food. I can't go on any more…" pg 118 Chlomo

What does the character of Chlomo seem to represent in the context of the entire novel? What does he stand for or symbolise?

In the beginning of the novel Chlomo symbolises Religion and what is pure. To the village Chlomo is the closet descendant of God, and to Elie he represents a strong Paternal/Father figure. Chlomo is a central presence in the novel as he is the most important person to Elie. He is held in great esteem by the community and symbolises Abraham, he refuses to sacrifice his son.

At the camp Chlomo represents survival and the strong figure that remains from his past, he functions almost as the centre of Elie's struggle for survival. All Chlomo tries to do at this stage is survive, and ‘Survival' is the main theme that he represents while imprisoned at the camp.

Chlomo is the second most important and second main character in the novel. His presence in the story is strong and intriguing. It is as if Elie looks up to his father and modelled himself on his father. The changes he endures during the camp shows how mortal Chlomo is and the relationship between father and son. Elie refuses to let go for his father, because without him and his wisdom he would be lost.

Bibliography- 'Night', Elie Wiesel
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