“Night” by Elie Wiesel is a powerful book filled with the tragic psychological development of the main characters and their relationships. Wiesel’s writing’s power is that all the unbelievable events described in the book happened in real. The book describes Elie Wiesel’s experiences, a Jewish man captured by the Nazis as a child during the Second World War and spent a year in a concentration camp with his father, Shlomo Wiesel. The boy’s relationship with his father changes drastically during the course of the events they both are put through. In the very beginning of the book, Elie is a pure young boy, religious and good-hearted; faith is an essential part of his life and his way of thinking. His beliefs are strong, he trusts his merciful God and, just like other Jewish people in his district, enjoys the illusion of a safe world (Berenbaum, 12).
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After the Wiesel family is broken and men are thrown apart from women by the invaders, the boy and his father start their ordeals traveling from a camp to a camp, seeing horrors and being neglected. At first, they cling together. Their relationship, just like any normal relationship between a father and a son, is based on support, mutual help, and love. Gradually, this relationship starts to change when both Elie and Shlomo handle more torturous events that challenge their connection with their civilized selves, their faith in God, their love for each other. Old Shlomo becomes weaker every day; he gets very ill. Elie gets to observe his father slowly die from sickness, constant hunger, and violent treatment. Multiple betrayals dehumanize Elie. Horrific images of “children thrown into the flames” trigger his emotional and mental changes (Wiesel, 32). He also notices himself becoming more indifferent towards other people’s sufferings. At first, this indifference only spreads to strangers, but soon he starts feeling it towards his own sick father. Finally, he lets Shlomo be beaten to death while he begs for help.
Berenbaum, Michael. Elie Wiesel: God, the Holocaust, and the children of Israel. Springfield, NJ: Behrman House Inc. 2004. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. Trans. Marion Wiesel. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.