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8th Grade Discussions

O5: Encountering Evil- Student Response

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All questions are from Oyster Academy.

Do you think that optimism or pessimism is a more useful emotion/perspective in the world? How would Wiesel respond to this question?

I believe Wiesel would say that neither was more useful and that, though optimism might’ve helped people stay a little stronger, almost every Jew in the Holocaust died.
Wiesel would probably respond this way because in the forward, he says that he doesn’t know how he survived-he was “weak, rather shy” (vii). So, neither would’ve helped. Someone who was in the Holocaust would’ve probably died anyway, because not many people would’ve survived.

I too believe this. I doubt pessimism or optimism would’ve helped stay strong. At one point, after so much pain, we void all emotions/perspectives. It’s useless to be optimistic or pessimistic while experiencing torture.