Elie’s strong character traits help him survive his traumatic boyhood. The qualities that make him survive the concentration camp are bravery, persistence, and trust. Bravery helps Elie survive the horrific times and sights during the Holocaust. While on a train going to another concentration camp, Elie saves his father’s life.
The train had stop momentarily to let the SS men throw all of the dead bodies out. Elie felt the “gravediggers” take his father away. He slaps his father many times to wake him up. The SS men yell and get impatient with Elie, but bravery is with him and the SS men don’t scare him. He finally wakes his dad up and all is well again. Another time Elie saves his fathers life is in the selection.
There were two lines, the left for the weak and the right for people that could walk. Elie thinks quickly, “My father was sent to the left. I ran after him” (91). Bravery helps Elie by that he causes confusion to get his father to the other line. This is very dangerous for Elie; the SS men could have shot him very easily, in fact some unlucky people did.
This event shows that Elie really loves his father and will go to extreme measures to keep him alive. Another quality that makes Elie survive the concentration camps is perseverance. During the Holocaust perseverance also keeps Elie alive. While being punished at the camp, the SS men make all of the prisoners run 42 miles in freezing weather to another camp.
Elie knows he will be shot if he lags behind so his perseverance pushes him to keep going. Elie tries to push other people along too. As Zalman replies, “I can’t go on any longer. My stomach bursting” (82). Elie persuades him to go on but he does not listen.
Elie and the other prisoners are very cold, tired, and hungry, but some how they make it through the grueling run. Just after the run all of the prisoners are very tired and want to go to sleep. They all feel asleep for awhile, but then got up. The prisoners found Elie’s father patting them to get them up.
He knew that if they were to sleep then they would surly die. No one had the strength to get up; they were all still hurt and tired from the run. Somehow Elie managed to stay awake while others dug there own grave. The last characteristic that helps Elie through the Holocaust is trust. Elie’s trust helps him survive the Nazi death camp too.
When Elie and his father first arrive at the death camp they are introduced to the selection. A strange man comes up to them and tells them to lie about their age. He tells Elie to say he is 18 when he is really 14, and his father is to say he is 40 when he is really 50. They both think this man is crazy, but they trust his advise when they go up to the examiner. Both Elie and his father pass the examination and get to live.
Another time when Elie’s foot bacame filled with puss and swollen he went to the hospital to get it operated on. Elie knew he put himself in great danger; the doctor could experiment on him or even kill him on the spot. Elie decided to trust the doctor even though all of these bad things could have happened. Elie questions the doctor, “Yet, what if he were telling the truth?” (75). He thinks about the issue and in the end comes to the decision of getting the operation.
The operation went well, Elie could not have survived any longer if his foot did not operated on. He could have wound up dead, because he could not work or run. Elie made the right choice and it all paid off because he trusted to doctor. All of these qualities are used in many different ways, buy they have one main purpose keeping Elie alive.
Strong characteristics make Elie endure the Holocaust. Bravery, perseverance, and trust forms Elie into a person who puts away all of the danger and horror in his life, and concentrates on making it through the situation that he is in. Without these qualities Elie would have never made it past the gates of Birkenau. Everyone, one time or another, in there life is faced with a danger. It may not be as bad as Elie’s but they need strong qualities to sustain it without being harmed traumatically.Bibliography:none