Elie's father faces lots brutality as the Holocaust progresses. Due to his age and lack of energy, he falls subject to beating from others so they can gain benefit. He still benefits Elie in some ways, including his better awareness of the environment they must adapt to. He provides advice to Elie on certain matters, but Elie must provide him with physical lessons to ensure he copes with the worsening conditions. I believe Mr. Wiesel's primary struggles are largely a result of the dehumanization in both him and others. The dehumanization creates cruelty and chaos, so Mr. Wiesel's poor physique can not keep up. I hope as the novel progresses that Mr. Wiesel's love and hope remain intact for they are his primary sources of survival.
- “When I mentioned it (the removal of my gold crown) to my father, he hesitated. After a long silence, he said: ‘No, my son. We cannot do this.’ ‘He will seek revenge!’ ‘He won’t dare, my son.’” Page 55
- “My father had never served in the military and could not march in step. But here, whenever we moved from one place to another, it was in step. That presented Franek with the opportunity to torment him and, on a daily basis, to trash him savagely.” Page 55
- “I decided to give my father lessons in marching in step, in keeping time. We began practicing in front of our block. I would command: ‘Left, right!’ and my father would try… But my father did not make sufficient progress, and the blows continued to rain on him.” Page 55
- “I looked at him without seeing him. I was thinking of my father. He would be suffering more than I.” Page 58