Jew’s Life during the Holocaust in the Book 'Night' by Elie Wiesel

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The book Night by Elie Wiesel is a memoir about a young Jew’s life during the Holocaust and in the Nazi death camps. Wiesel's writing style in Night is very fragmented as he describes his day-to-day life in different camps. A major theme that shows up in Night is the theme of the loss of faith. Wiesel wrote Night in 1954, ten years after he was liberated from Buchenwald. His choice in writing Night in a fragmented way is because he doesn’t want to relive that part of his life as he’s writing it. He somewhat vaguely describes all the atrocities he sees, “Behind me, an old man fell to the ground. Nearby, an SS man replaced his revolver in its holster” (Weisel, 30).

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Wiesel vaguely describes the event where he saw a man get his head blown off. Even when I describe the event it has a little bit more description than when Wiesel writes it. He most likely doesn’t write like that on purpose, since that way he doesn’t have to relive the experience. The entire book is written it that format so we as the readers can measure for ourselves how horrible of an experience that it was on Weisel. All schools have history classes that cover WWII and the Holocaust. But unfortunately for the Jews that went through the Holocaust, the intimate details are often glossed over and quickly forgotten. The novel helps us understand how real the extent of the brutalities was in the labor camps.

The moral lines for all the Jews often were blurred in their decision-making due to the difficult situations, as seen in the cattle cars “She received multiple blows to the head, blows that could have been lethal.” (Weisel, 26). Madame Schächter has gone mad and everyone in the cattle car is willing to do anything to make her shut up. The moral lines between good and bad are really crossed when the pieces of bread are thrown into the cattle car later on. “Dozens of starving men fought desperately over a few crumbs.” (Wiesel, 100). The Jews no longer care about those boundaries any longer all they care about is their own survival. Elie at the very beginning of the book is super religious “I continued… my studies, Talmud during the day and Kabbalah at night” (Wiesel, 8). He's so religious that he’s studying two different parts of Judaism.

Eventually, as the book progresses he starts to question his faith since God is almighty why are the Jews experiencing these horrible atrocities. “Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled.” (Wiesel, 67). He has let go of his very strong religious faith. We read Night at the Sophomore level because it keeps the memory of the ones that were killed during the Holocaust alive for one more day. The quote of “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (George Santayana) is certainly true, just look around us right now, and Night could help us prevent any more atrocities like the Holocaust from happening again. That is the reason why I think we read Night.

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