Chapters 6-9

How do Elie’s attitude and feelings towards his father begin to resemble that of Rabbi Eliahou’s son? What does he feel when his father dies and why?

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In an earlier section, the reader hears about the behavior of Rabbi Eliahou's unfaithful son, and this episode foreshadows what happens in this section. Like Rabbi Eliahou's son, Eliezer cannot help but think of his dying father as a burden. Even though he hates himself for wanting to be rid of his father, he feels that the responsibility of looking after his father is lessening his own chances at survival. For example, when Eliezer goes to find his father, who he has left lying in a pile of snow, he thinks to himself, "Don't let me find him! If only I could get rid of this dead weight, so that I could use all my strength to struggle for my own survival, and only worry about myself." Similarly, after his father's death, he is ashamed that he feels relieved: "And, in the depths of my being, in the recesses of my weakened conscience, could I have searched it, I might perhaps have found something like‹free at last!"