Theme: Intense trauma or terrible childhood experiences may lead to mental scars that might never be healed.
Inquiry Question/Essential Question: How does one put horrific memories and trauma behind them?
-author is revisiting his childhood home after the holocaust where he and his family were sent to concentration camps
-He remembers that he buried a gold watch (that he received for his bar mitzvah) and yearns to see it again
-after he finds it broken, rusted, and infested with worms, he still finds a beauty in it, but ultimately decides to leave it back in its place
How does the text answer the Essential Question/Inquiry Question?
In the short story “The Watch”, by Elie Wiesel, The author is a holocaust survivor who goes nearly insane in the moment while trying to find something of his past: a watch he received for his Bar Mitzvah. He has experienced so much struggle and pain that that the watch he is trying to find is the only thing that will provide the slightest bit of closure for him “The pain is blinding: could this thing, this object, be my gift, my pride? My past?” But despite his struggles, he does find some closure in finding his watch “In retrospect, I tell myself that probably I simply wanted to leave behind me, underneath the silent soil, a reflection of my presence. Or that somehow I wanted to transform my watch into an instrument of delayed vengeance” He also expresses that he is somewhat satisfied that he has left such a mark. Such a legacy so that his past is forgiven, but never forgotten. “One day, a child would play in the garden, dig near the tree and stumble upon a metal box. He would thus learn that his parents were usurpers, and that among the inhabitants of his town, once upon a time, there had been Jews and Jewish children, children robbed of their future.” Thats how he put his trauma behind him. He found closure in the watch.
By: Alerik Wang