People can experience a lot of difficulties on the paths to building strong relationships with their relatives. Eliezer and his father Shlomo, the characters of Elie Wiesel’s novel Night, had overcome the horrors of the concentration camp before they found their own vision of relations with God and with each other. The author discusses the problems of war and Holocaust with references to the people’s fates, accentuating the changes which they experience in the concentration camps under the impact of problematic and even dangerous life situations.
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Eliezer and his father overpass their way of understanding each other through accepting their visions and intentions. The absence of respect for Shlomo’s personality and activity and the impossibility to rely on each other changes with Eliezer and Shlomo’s further mutual understanding and their possibility to trust each other.
Eliezer and his father begin to understand that their connection is based not on accepting their ideas and viewpoints, but on their cognate connection. Eliezer and Shlomo are the families, and they should support each other because there are no other persons who can be closer for them (Anderson).
However, Eliezer and his father have to overcome a lot of issues to find an understanding of these easy principles. The first descriptions of the son and father’s relations reflect the situation when Eliezer does not respect his father because he does not feel his love and interest in the son’s life. Eliezer states that his father, being the influential person in the Jewish community, was “more concerned with others than with his own family” (Wiesel 2). Eliezer and Shlomo did not use the opportunity to understand each other before the wartime, but the destiny provided them with such an opportunity under the influence of terrible circumstances.
The next stage of Eliezer and Shlomo’s relations developed when the characters had to live in the concentration camp. There were several turning points for the characters’ changing attitude to each other. The understanding of the significance of their lives was gained through overcoming many indignities and through facing the threat of being killed (Hernandez). Eliezer and Shlomo began to trust each other, and the feeling of closeness developed gradually, but with the enormous intensity. Eliezer accentuates his fear of being alone saying, “My hand tightened its grip on my father. All I could think of was not to lose him. Not to remain alone” (Wiesel 30).
The situation of being isolated in the concentration camp made Eliezer and his father rethink the life values and their relationships. The challenging experience provided the characters with the opportunity not only to understand each other but also to feel each other. Thus, Eliezer and Shlomo have never “understood one another so clearly” (Wiesel 65). Moreover, the meaning of this understanding can be explained with references to Eliezer’s phrase, “Father! I’ve been looking for you for so long” (Wiesel 101).
In spite of the fact this phrase is related to the concrete situation, it is rather illustrative and reflects the boy’s general vision of the circumstances. Now, the son and the father cannot betray one another because their connection is stronger than any life challenges.
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The conclusion of the book is rather provocative and makes the readers think about destiny’s irony. After having found the father’s support and understanding, Eliezer has to suffer from the fact of Shlomo’s death. Eliezer and Shlomo overcome the long path to their relations’ changing. However, when Shlomo dies, Eliezer is alone again, and he should focus only on his future.
Anderson, Mark M. “The Child Victim as Witness to the Holocaust: An American Story?”. Jewish Social Studies 14.1 (2007): 1-22. Print.
Hernandez, Alexander A. “Telling the Tale: Sharing Elie Wiesel’s Night with Middle-School Readers”. The English Journal 91.2 (2001): 54-60. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. USA: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.