Chpt 4: 5. How did the prisoners feel about the man who crawled to the soup cauldron during the air-raid?


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THe prisoners were angry and wanted to beat him.

They just watch, knowing they have to take care of themselves; the prisoners have become self-centered.

The spectacle of the dying man crawling to reach the two cauldrons of soup is perhaps one of the most haunting images of the entire novel. It emphasizes how stripped of personality the prisoners were and how obsessively fixated they were on food and simple survival. Treated barbarously by the Nazis and severely undernourished, the prisoners have become hungry animals intent only on acquiring more food. For the dying man, reaching the cauldrons of soup represents a supreme accomplishment, and he musters up all of his energy just to reach his goal. It is tragic and very disturbing that the Nazis succeeded in reducing human beings to that base level of existence.