Night is a book written by Elie Wiesel that focuses on his experiences while imprisoned in one of the Auschwitz concentration camps during the Holocaust. The book focuses on the inhuman experiences that the prisoners in the camp were subjected. Therefore, it highlights the impact that such experiences had on Wiesel belief and spirituality. In the book, Wiesel’s disgust and displeasure with what humanity had become are highlighted. Wiesel points out that human beings have lost the very values that make them human and this can be highlighted by the quote, “Here there are no fathers, no brothers, no friends” (Schwarz, 63). Even among the prisoners, humanity has been lost and each and every person is only looking out for themselves.
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Wiesel’s Relationship with God
As already mentioned, one of the most fundamental aspects of Wiesel’s Night is his relationship with God. This is precisely the course that this relationship takes both before and during the duration of his incarceration. During his initial years as a young boy, Wiesel was a strong believer in God just like many young boys at the time. It is important to note that at this time, his innocence was still intact and he had not yet witnessed some of the negative aspects of life. At this stage in his life, Wiesel was interested in studying religious teachings as a way of strengthening his relationship with God.
After he was taken prisoner at Auschwitz, Wiesel for the first time experienced how cruel human beings can become. He bore witness to many atrocities that the prisoners were subjected to. Some of these atrocities included having to work for long hours with very little food, being housed in structures unfit for human habitation, and being subjected to both physical and emotional torture, which included having to watch some of their loved ones killed.
After being incarcerated for some time, witnessing, and being subjected to these atrocities, Wiesel’s experience at Auschwitz took its toll on him. For the first time, he started questioning some of the very fundamental principles and believes that he held. Chief among these was his belief in God, “I Pray to God within me that he will give me the strength to ask him the right question” (Wiesel, 31). Wiesel doubted the existence of God and he reasoned that if indeed God existed, he would not allow such a thing to happen. He started questioning the need to believe and praise a God who could allow his people to suffer the way they did; “What had I to thank Him for” (Wiesel, 31). However, as much as these experiences served to weaken Wiesel’s believe in God, he never lost faith in God completely.
All in all, Night is an important work that highlights how human beings can be tempted to lose their faith in God in the face of adversity. However, the book also serves to inspire its readers with the message of hope and that at the end of the day, good always triumphs over evil (Bloom, 42).
Bloom, Harold. Elie Wiesel’s Night. Infobase, 2010. Print.
Schwarz, Daniel. Imagining the Holocaust. Palgrave Macmillan, 2000. Print.
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Wiesel, Elie. Night. Penguin Books, 2012. Print.