Elie Wiesel’s “Night” is a detailed description of the processes that happen in a young boy’s heart, soul, and mind, when he observes people being tortured, starved, and burnt alive, when he gets betrayed, insulted, and humiliated. This short but shocking book contains preserved images and evidence of how far a person can be pushed and how human psychology and psychic shift in order to save the person’s own life (Bloom, 135). The final scene of the book depicts Elie looking at his own reflection and feeling like “a corpse gazed back at him” (Wiesel, 115). This last image that never left the author is the eternal symbol of his dehumanization. The corpse in the mirror is an empty vessel that remained after all the parts of Elie, which made him a person, were erased under the torture.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
Through the year spent in the camps, Elie has lost his love towards his father, his ability to trust, believe, hope, his faith in God, all of his non-material values, all of the components of his personality were gone. Elie has lost himself; the horror of the Holocaust has turned him into a walking dead man, functioning on a primitive level as just a living body. What he saw in the mirror were his eyes and the void in them, the void that he saw in the eyes of the dead people in the camps, and this void never left him. Neither of the people that suffered in camps sought revenge afterward because it would only bring back the horrors of the past and create more evil; letting it go was the only thing these poor people wanted.
Bloom, Harold. Elie Wiesel’s Night. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing, 2010. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. Trans. Marion Wiesel. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.