read section on page 29 where Elie is split from his mother and sister
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I think that Wessel meant to portray the reality of something horrific as that. The split happened quickly and Elie hardly had a chance to say goodbye. There is a lack of sentimentality simply because the situation seems so surreal. The soldiers barking out orders and the very savage way this was handled did not allow for any sentimental moments, only terrifying ones.
Devika, this is Ms. Buck. Please complete your own work, with your own words.