Night By Eliezer Essay, Research Paper
Night by Eliezer Wiesel
One of the main themes throughout the book is the title of the book “Night”. There are references from Eliezer about night during the book, which are full of symbolism. The word “night” is used repeatedly, and Eliezer recounts every dusk, night and dawn through the entire book. For instance, Night could be a metaphor for the Holocaust—submerge the family and thousands of Jewish families in the darkness and misery of the concentration camps.
Another reference to night is the night before the family is taken to the ghetto, Eliezer explains, “Night. No one prayed, so that the night would pass quickly. The stars were only sparks of the fire, which devoured us. Should that fire die out one day, there would be nothing left in the sky but dead stars, dead eyes.
Throughout the camp, Eliezer comments on the fact that everyone is dying, some more quickly than others, and how the darkness has taken over the day. “Night” seems to refer to the living death of the concentration camps that Eliezer does not think will ever end.
Another main theme in the book is Eliezers respect for religion. Religion is very important to Eliezer, and in the beginning he focuses all his energy on religious study. Throughout the book, his attutude about religion changes as night progresses. In the beginning of the book, Moche tells Eliezer that one must seek to ask God the right questions, not to find out the right answers. One simply cannot understand the answer God gives: “You will find the true answers Eliezer, only within yourself.” ( )
In the concentration camp Eliezer can’t understand why God allows so much death and destruction, and even though he is angry and questions God he never loses his faith. Although Eliezer never has his questions answered he never loses his faith. Eliezers evolving relationship with God is a major source of character development for himself.
The third important theme is the inadvertent role the Jews play in their destruction. The foolish optimism—nothing bad will happen. An example of this is when they were forced to move to the ghetto, the townspeople act relieved that they don’t have to deal with overt prejudice anymore: “We should no longer have before our eyes those hostile faces, those hate-laden stars. Our fear and anguish were at an end, we were living among Jews, among brothers.” ( )
Moral of Ethical Issues:
The concentration camps were beginning to remove all emotion from the people. They stopped feeling anything for others, and began only thinking of themselves. For example, when an iron bar beats Eliezers father, Eliezer feels no pity or compassion. He is madder at his father for not being able to get away from Idek’s outbreak, than he is at Idek for beating his father.
The hanging of the little boy arouses feelings, which are rare like pity and sorrow throughout the jaded atmosphere of the camps. In chapter nine, when Eliezers father dies, Eliezer finds himself relieved, although it is only momentary and later he deeply regrets these feelings.
Feelings toward Text
The Nazi’s turned Eliezer into a living corpse, almost a shadow of his former self. He was surrounded by constant death, including the death of both his mother and his sister, early in the book, as well as his father, which was much later in the book. Throughout the story Eliezer lost many emotions and felt shame with himself for loosing them. During the time that his father passed away, he felt very relieved. Although later in life, he realized that the feeling was only temporary, he still regrets the feeling emensly.
The way the Nazi’s killed the family of not only Eliezer but also thousands of others, reduced the survivors to base, animal instincts and denied them there humanity. This book was so powerful and overwhelming. I cannot even fathom the idea of living this way, and would feel the same feelings Eliezer felt in the end, of wanting revenge. And although Eliezer and the other survivors could seek many, revenges, there is nothing they could do to erase what has already been done to them.