Answers 1Add Yours
Though she is a fifty-year-old woman and obviously unwell, she is beaten repeatedly about the head by young men trying to silence her. And her little boy says nothing: "They struck her several times on the headblows that might have killed her. Her little boy clung to her; he did not cry out; he did not say a word. He was not even weeping now." The people in the wagon treat her cruelly and inhumanely, as they undoubtedly would not have done under normal circumstances, but Wiesel does not condemn them for their brutal actions. Instead, his tone in this passage is very sad, full of regret and guilt. Since Madame Schaechter's hysterical shrieks was unnerving everyone in the car, he recognizes that it was necessary for their collective survival that she be silenced. At the same time, however, he seems to mourn the fact that such cruel behavior was necessary and that everyone, including the woman's own son, condoned such violent and vicious behavior. In this nightmare world that the Nazis have created for the Jews, survival is the only concern, and human emotions and affective ties become irrelevant. Madame Schachter's outbursts are not hysteria and prove to be rather prophetic as they reach the camps where the sky is filled with fire.