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Character Study: Chlomo

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Essay title: Character Study: Chlomo

Night

The Character Study of Chlomo

David Risteski, Dennis Lok, Jack Tu, Steven Cheng

How would you describe Chlomo:

• At the very beginning of the novel- What is represented as being important to him? Find two quotes to illustrate this?

Chlomo is an extremely respected man in Sighet and even though his name is only said once he plays a big role in everyone’s life. “My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man” This tells us that Chlomo is not a sensitive man and he does not show emotion.

Throughout the novel he helps others with there problems and people came to him for advice.” The Jewish community in Sighet held him in the greatest esteem” This quote tells us how much the community in Sighet relies on him.

Before and after the deportation of the Jews he was never concerned with himself, all he ever worried about was his family and others around him. Like his son, Chlomo was very religious at the start of the novel and questioned the faith as they arrived at Auswitz as he saw babies being killed.

• “At the very end of the novel- what is represented as being important? Find two quotes to illustrate this”.

Throughout the novel “Night” Elies dad (Chlomo), does what ever he can so that he can stick with his son Elie, he sticks up for his son and tries to protect him. In the Novel, “Don’t lose faith in yourself” that symbolizes all Chlomos stands for. In the novel he represents survival and strength up until his death. Being the only father figure up until his death Chlomo sticks by Elie for his survival and Elie relies on him. When Chlomo does that, it means that Chlomo has great hope in life and he knows that Elie will survive the journey.

Chlomo helps Elie develops his mind and teaches him how to stay along with the group and how to survive in the horrific conditions. At end of the novel all the things that Chlomo represents and symbolized remain only in Elie as he dies, "this is the end I’m going to die here".

What are the major changes Chlomo endures both physically and emotionally?

Initially Chlomo is introduced to as a Holy man of the village and the father of Ellie. A stern man and rarely shows any emotion at home. He is interested in the affairs of the other villagers and they come to him for guidance and advice, he is seen as a wise man. However Chlomo changes both physically and emotionally, as a direct result of his imprisonment at the concentration camps.

For much of the novel, outward, Chlomo remains the stern, wise father of Ellie and really the only strong paternal figure in the book. However his desperation and need for survival are eminent as soon as they arrive at the camp. He stays by Ellie throughout this time up until his death and he struggles for survival. His emotional stability began to deteriorate when he saw the dead and the realised the reality of their fate. Chlomo always reacts badly to the dead he sees in the camps. This may be as perhaps he sees himself in the dead, as if to say Chlomo had accepted his fate and the fate of the Jewish people at the camps. He remains by Ellie and reassures his son and tells others not to lose faith, “you must resist, don’t lose faith in yourself”. However even Chlomo begins to lose faith as his fate becomes closer, “I can see them son….let them sleep”.

Chlomo’s physical changes become apparent once at the concentration camp. Like the other prisoner’s, due to the sudden lack of food and sustenance, Chlomo loses weight and his appearance begins to change. As result of the harsh conditions in the camp Chlomo gradually begins to look older and his face continually grows pale. He became weaker day by day, also as a result of him being beaten frequently for reasons such as not marching in rhythm and for asking where the lavatories were. He would eat Ellie’s rations as he became weaker and weaker. Before the time of his death, Chlomo becomes sick and loses all his strength, “he grew weaker day by day…his face the colour of dead leaves”.

Chlomo’s presence in the novel is one of strength and authority. His paternal figure and his changes both physically and emotionally are vividly portrayed. His emotional stability and physical strength vary throughout the novel and differ from beginning to end. Both changes take place as a direct result of Chlomo’s imprisonment and his experiences give us a realistic view on the impact and horror of war.

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