Introduction: When Night Falls. Eliezer’s Story Starts
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Parent-child relationships have never been easy; since the dawn of time, people have been trying to work on the gap between the older and the younger generation, yet with little success; it seems that the solution of the problem is unique for each case, and Eliezer’s case in Wiesel’s Night is no exception. Walking along the path from admiring his father and being completely sure about the strength within him to the point where he had to switch the roles with his father and accept the fact that he had to take the lead, Eliezer survives an important experience which helps him relate to his father even better.
Eliezer and His Father: Following the Leader
As the story opens, one can see that a kid, Eliezer considered his father a perfect dad and a role model for him to follow. Although the author does not focus on childhood relationships with the father quite much, every single sentence in which the latter is mentioned breathes with love and awe (Berenbaum, 1979). However, it seems that the young Elie is rather distanced from his father: “My father was a cultured man, rather unsentimental. He rarely displayed his feelings, not even within his family, and was more involved with the welfare of others than with that of his own kin” (Wiesel, 2010, 18).
When Things Start Going Wrong: Changes Approaching
As soon as Eliezer touches upon the time when the family was sent to the concentration camp, the reader can observe the change of relationships between the father and the son: “My father was crying. It was the first time I saw him cry. I had never thought it possible” (Wiese, 2010, 159). However, it is not that Eliezer is disappointed in Schlomo; it is rather that he understands that the time has come for him to take care of his father and be the head of the family.
Not a Burden, But Support: Eliezer Comes to Understanding
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Nevertheless, Eliezer soon realizes that he is in charge now. At first, he depended on his father: “It was imperative to stay together” (Wiesel, 2010, 10). However, soon he realizes that his father needs his support as much as Eliezer needs his father’s help: “I found my father crying like a child” (Wiesel, 2010, 93). At this point, the father and the so switch their roles, and it is Eliezer now who has to console the old man, which brings their relationships to a new level (Wiesel & Cargas, 1993).
Conclusion: Reaching for a New Level of Relationships
Therefore, it is obvious that Eliezer not only manages to keep the touch with his father even as the latter fails to take the leading part and falls into despair, but also comes to understand what his father feels and what he needs from Eliezer at the moment. Thus, Eliezer manages to bridge the two generations, closing the gap between the everlasting conflict between a father and a son. While his father realizes that the son has grown up and can take the responsibilities, Eliezer realizes that he has to support his father the same way as the latter did whet the author was a little kid. Restoring the faith in his father, Eliezer makes another step towards his spiritual enlightenment.
Berenbaum, Michael. Elie Wiesel: God, the Holocaust, and the Children of Israel. Springfield, NJ: Behrman House, 1979. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York City, NY: Straus and Giroux, 2012. NOOK Library.
Wiesel, Elie, & H. J. Cargas. Telling the Tale: a Tribute to Elie Wiesel. Sent Louis, MO: Time Being Books, 1993. Print.