The theme of love has been developed in the novel, “Night” by Elie Wiesel. Reflectively, this theme is the axis of the climax. It defines the interaction between Eliezer and his father Schlomo. Thus, this treatise attempts to explicitly analyze the changing relationship between father and son in the novel “Night”.
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In the first chapter of the novel, the relationship between father and son is presented as very cordial and supportive. Eliezer and his father share joyful moments, sad moments, and unbearable events as a united team. For instance, the father asserts, “Don’t be afraid, son. Sleep…I’ll looks after you myself” (Wiesel 85).
Reflectively, the father offers support to a weak son in need of emotional reassurance. Life in the death camp was unbearable and this constant support for each other ensured that they survived for a long time. Moreover, Eliezer remains loyal to his unavailable father who has little time for his family. Interestingly, the son is described as an aggressive young man with a deep love for his aging father. In the first four chapters, Eliezer attempts to make up for his father’s weaknesses whenever there is a need (Sternlicht 65).
For instance, Eliezer appeals to the supernatural being for guidance on practical ways of showing respect to his father. He prays, “My God, Lord of the universe, give me the strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahou’s son has done” (Wiesel 87).
Eliezer and Schlomo share inseparable love. He was not only present at his father’s death but also held a deep hatred for the person who killed him. Eliezer offers unending support to the ailing old man and swears to avenge his death. Despite the fact that poor health could have contributed to the demise of his father, Eliezer cannot forgive himself for having done anything as his father cried for mercy in the hands of his killer. This guilt is strong evidence of love and affection the father and son shared (Bloom 34).
As Eliezer overcame his naivety, he masters the art of self-determination. However, this trait widened the emotional gap between father and son. Eliezer loses respect for his father and goes against his will. Though Eliezer was fair in balancing his personality and weaknesses displayed by Schlomo, he did not let him dictate the strong will of his youthful personality. Eliezer ignored his father’s sentiments of being too young to hire a cabbala teacher. This expression of disrespect further strained the fragile relationship.
The faint thoughts of Schlomo transformed into life inspirational stories for the young son. Eliezer’s tolerance for his father’s weaknesses is replaced with unending bitterness towards nature and lazy adulthood. Despite the constant struggle to break from this past, Eliezer remains in painful thoughts of the inability to make a difference. He unexpectedly turned into an irrational critic of the ailing father whom he sees as a burden to his overburdened life. This disjoint anger could not let him shade tears of sorrow for the departed father. In the end, Eliezer lost his moral values and self-worth to transcending hatred (Sternlicht 23).
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Unlike his father who “was more concerned with others than his own family” (Weisel 2), Eliezer curved an image of strong will, optimism, and faith in the transformation to make up for the weaknesses he saw in his father from childhood. Fortunately, these beliefs replaced his anger with self-preservation.
Bloom, Harold. Elie Wiesel’s Night, Alabama: Facts on File, Incorporated, 2010. Print.
Sternlicht, Sanford. Student Companion to Elie Wiesel, New York: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night, New York: Penguin Books Limited, 2012. Print.