’s Search For Meaning Essay, Research Paper
In reading, Night by Elie Wiesel and A Man’s Search For Meaning by , many stories of the torturous life in the concentration camps during the second world war. In each book, the reader gets a different point of view from each book because in Night, you get to read about a teenager’s view and in the book, A Man’s Search For Meaning, you get to read about a middle aged man’s view. In the book, Night, Elie, his family and his community go through a system of indoctrination which in each step it makes you seem less and less of a human. The first step is that the Hungarian police made all the Jewish people wear yellow stars, so they could be picked out easily. The next step is that all the Jewish people had to get rid of all their valuable belongings. The next step in the system is moving all the Jewish people to the ghettos either in the large one or the small one. Elie and his family was moved to the large one. The next step is that Elie and his family had to move to the small ghetto where they were getting ready to leave or be sent some where else. The next step of the system is everyday they take a certain amount of Jewish people into the center of the town square and then they let them sit there for a while. The next step was that they had to walk to the synagogue and then they had to walk to train after being in the synagogue for a day. Once they reach the train, the Hungarian police put eighty people in a thirty person train car. The next step is the long trip on the train, where people start going crazy, people not getting fed well and no room to sit. Life in the camp, the next step is when the train arrives at Auschwitz and then SS men ordered everyone out and makes them leave their personal stuff behind. The next step they separated the men from the women and children, this was a point where families were separated and most of the families never saw each other again. Elie never saw his mother and his sisters again. He could have stay with his mother but he told the SS men that he was eighteen years old and that was better because the most people they killed were children. The older people got to live longer because they thought that they will all die because of the way they were treating them bad, by not feeding and making them work longer hours. The next step was to separate the handicapped from the normal. After that the young and old are separated. The next step is all the men had take of the clothes and be shaven and cleaned. The doctor went around check all the people for any diseases and or handicaps. The next step is that all the people had to get tattooed and the tattoo was that of a number and that number now replaced your name. Then after that the sent you into room and they gave you the same clothes. After that moment you definitely lost your individuality because you looked like everyone else and everything about you has been taken away so you start to think that you a just one of a million. These ideas are taken from pages 8 to 39 in the book, Night. The concentration camps seemed to bring out the worst in people because what happen was that all the people there reverted to animals and they only thought on their minds was me. Most of them wanted to survive as an individual rather than helping out and surviving as a group. One example of this is when the relationship the young and old is not that good. The young felt like the old was hindrance to there survival because they had to worry about themselves and it was more work and stress if they had to worry about someone else. One example of this is when Idek, the little Jewish boy, began to beat Elie’s father because Idek felt that Elie’s father was not working to his potential and that could get Idek in trouble. If Idek let Elie’s father slack off, then he would get in trouble because all the work has not been done and when you get in trouble it usually means a beating and or death. This can be seen on page 52 of Night.
The issue of primary importance for the prisoners was survival by any means necessary. Either young or old, everyone wants to get out the concentration camps alive. Everyone had a different method of survival, one example of that is that some people step over other people to survive but others actually tried to be social and helpful, so that family and friends of theirs could survive also. One example of a person step over some to live is towards the end of the book when they left the camp because the army was getting close and sons would leave their fathers behind, brothers would leave brothers behind, long time friends would leave their friends behind and so on. You can also see that people will help others so a group survives rather than an individual and one example of this can be shown when some people fell down when they were marching some people helped them up while others just walked by. These ideas can be found in pages 81-90 in Night. The importance of survival was so great that it affected the mental and physical states of all the prisoners at the concentration camps. It affected them mentally because it rose a lot of questions like if I have to choose between helping my dying father and living another day what will I choose. A question like that changed a person and may be made him change for the worst. It affected them physically because they wanted to survive but lack of food and long hours of work changed their strength and what they were able to do. If a person went to the camp at 6 feet tall and 230 lbs., you probably come out weighing half of that. That shows the drastic change in the physical appearance of the person. If you were able to survive, you were left with a physical and mental scar. Both Elie Wiesel’s Night and Victor Frankl’s A Man’s Search For Meaning raise a lot questions of life. They both raise questions like, is life worth fighting for and does a person have a choice to decide whether life is valuable or not. The first question was answer more by Frankl’s book because he tells us that life is worth living because not only just for yourself but there might be someone else that is waiting for you. So we have to use all our strengths and other qualities so that you could live another day even though tomorrow you could die of heart attack, but you did not die on your on accord and it was something out of your hands. Just knowing that you tried and failed is better than knowing that you did not try at all. The second question can be answer by both authors’ books because no one has the right to decide whether a person’s life is valuable enough to be taken away for no reason. The SS had choices whether to kill or let people live, but that choice should have never been given to them because no one can decide whether life is valuable or not.
There is a four point methodology that can be used to understand more the situation that both authors were in. The nature of the universe is life in the concentration camp for men. Our role is that we have to do everything in our power to survive the concentration camps. The flaw is that not everyone wants to do everything in their power to survive the concentration camps. The remedy is that you would have to give the people that do not want to live a reason for living. You can tell them that their family members are waiting for them when they get out or someone needs them to be alive, so they could survive another day. Frankl talks about how everyone has something inside them that they want to live for, but if they cannot see that then someone will have tell them about it. Frankl believes that we should all see our something that makes us want to live because life is very valuable and you cannot just let it go like that. In the reading of both these books, I have learned many things about the human race. I learned how cruel it can be and how fragile it can be. I believe that if I was in a position of either being a prisoner, a SS man or a Kapo, I really do not know how I would act. If I was a SS man, I probably would have listen my conscience and done everything in my power to get out of that position. If I was a prisoner, I would probably do everything in my power to live and survive the camps. If I was a Kapo, I would not treated my follow men bad so that I will not face any harm. Even though I think I would have done these things if I was in those positions, I probably would have done something else because I can never really understand the situation