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Family Relationship in “Night” by Elie Wiesel


In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, the relationship between Eliezar and his father appears to be complex. It is shaped by harsh conditions, religion, deportation, and the interaction between the two and other people. In this essay, the author analyzes how this relationship changes throughout the novel. According to this author, the variations are brought about by a number of factors.

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The Bond between Father and Son

As Eliezar puts it, the world does not care who your father, mother, sister, or brother is. People live within individualistic parameters. The bond between Eliezar and his father supports this assertion. The two lead very different lives. They hold differing views about morality. The difference is evident in their take on national issues. The father assumes a ‘don’t care’ attitude towards public affairs. However, Eliezar is depicted as a caregiver (Wiesel 47). The main character seems to make a number of sacrifices in his life. In spite of this disposition, he complains a lot about this role. He comes to realize that his dedication is a burden. In this regard, Eliezar and his father seem to have common views about nature and the prevailing factors.

The relationship between the two is dynamic and changes in the course of the story. For example, they were initially protagonists. However, this changes and they become peers who cooperate on a number of issues. After their transfer, Eliezar accompanies his father to look for food. They go to Geiwitzt to escape the harsh conditions in the new location. When the young man goes missing, his father’s words show the kind of new relationship between the two. He says that he has lost a son with whom he has gone through a lot in life (Katz par. 4).

Religion is a uniting factor between the two. They pray together in a number of occasions. It can be argued that they are two spiritual beings. Eliezar is introduced to the Jewish religion by his father. The man raises his son within the confines of religious proclamations. However, it comes to light that the same faith Eliezar is advised to subscribe to becomes a major source of discomfort in his life. He often looks at God as a life giver who ignores the pain and sufferings of His people (Katz par. 8). To this effect, he makes several references to the book of Job.His findings agitate him. Finally, he gives up on God. He talks of a dead Supreme Being. He says “behind me, I heard the same man asking: Where is God now?” (Wiesel 70).

He describes events that symbolize the death of God. For example, he remembers how, together with his father, they suffered in the hands of the Nazis. Such observations indicate how the religious relationship between Eliezar and his father changes with time.

The two characters view danger from a similar perspective. The patriarch is disgruntled when he contracts dysentery. The disease incapacitates him (Wiesel 34-40). The issue of his father’s incapacitation forces Eliezar to find new ways of hiding. His father’s beatings also instill fear in the young man. He is concerned about the prevailing war in the country.


The relationship between Eliezar and his father comes out clearly as the events in the book unfold. The former’s life is significantly shaped by the presence of his father. The war subjects him to a life full of cruelty. Eliezar’s attitude is shaped by his confidence in exploiting the opportunities that come his way, including those presented by his father. The personalities of the two characters form the basis of the events covered in the book. A major factor that influences the interaction between father and son is the fact that they are imprisoned. As such, they are unable to move around freely, getting time for each other.

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Works Cited

Katz, Lisa 2014, Night by Elie Wiesel. Web.

Wiesel, Elie. Night, New York: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.

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