¨At this moment in time, all that mattered to me was my daily bowl of soup, my crust of stale bread. The bread, the soup– those were my entire life. I was nothing but a body. Perhaps even less: a famished stomach. The stomach alone was measuring time.¨ (pg 52)
Elie had just been told that the dentist office was closed. It was closed because the dentist was extracting gold crowns for his own benefit. The dentist was about to be hanged. Elie didn´t feel the least bit sorry for the dentist. The soldiers had already dehumanized Elie and his comrades by shaving their head, stripping them of their clothes and their possessions, giving them little food, replacing their name with a number, separating them from their families, and beating them senseless. Why would Elie have pity for someone who was dehumanizing them again, for a profit? Elie felt so dehumanized he felt like he was less than a body. He felt like he was a stomach. And the stomach wasn´t even full. It was starving. Have you ever felt so hungry that you couldn´t move? That is what Elie was feeling. That feeling was normal for him and millions of others. They felt a feeling much worse than that. All day. Everyday. Hunger was the strongest feeling they had.