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“Night” by Elie Wiesel Literature Analysis


Night is a captivating piece of literal work that is the brainchild of Elie Wiesel, which gives a personal account of his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps at Buchenwald and Auschwitz, at the sunset of the Second World War, and the apex of the holocaust in 1945. He candidly articulates his views about a deity, who decides to let mayhem take center stage on earth, either by design or default.

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This move he intimates to be analogous to a father who is helpless, and cannot help his teenage son who looks up to him for care and guidance. Witnessing his father being bludgeoned to death, at the age of sixteen while he lay still on a bunk bed above, gave him the impetus to come up with an insightful book. The book which is a good read, philosophically and intricately lays bare the mystery of life, and the complexity of a divine God that human beings owe allegiance to.

We live in an unjust world

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest (Wiesel 30)”. It is a pity that the Jewish race had to bear the brunt of injustices, which they hard to undergo on myriad occasions. On the first installment, they were made slaves by the ancient Egyptians in biblical times. They were finally released from bondage, when Moses was appointed by God to deliver them after four centuries of servitude, in the establishment of Egyptian civilizations.

Furthermore, in later years they were to be colonized by Romans, and finally persecuted by Europeans. It is ironical that they have always had to contend with infringement of their rights as human beings, and always lacked the necessary avenues to seek redress, but they have always protested when they were under siege; though for the most part they were momentarily incapacitated.

Neglecting the oppressed

By and large, Wiesel asserts that, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented (45)”. In view of what the Jews were grappling with during the holocaust, many countries just gave them a wide berth, because the world was deeply engrossed in war and countries were divided into two warring factions.

It is against this backdrop, that many countries and God did not pay significant attention to the loathsome acts that the German side of the war was doing to the Jews, until it was too late (Sternlicht 15). The disregard for the Jewish plight just fuelled atrocities of the Germans to unprecedented levels, to the detriment of the Jews.

The need for divine intervention

. “I pray to the God within me that He will give me the strength to ask Him the right questions (Wiesel 70). The epicenter of this book is the discussion about why God took a back seat, and watched as the tragedy that befell the Jewish race unfolded. There is a lot of cynicism hurled at God, as the ultimate protector of the universe and all the things and people it encapsulates (Woken- Rowley 25).

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Conventional wisdom from the human perspective insinuates that, God’s invisible hand should have taken over and providentially quelled the persecution. Therefore, Wiesel accuses God of neglecting human suffering.


Humans just like God are quite complicated in the sense that, the motives behind their actions is very hard to understand. The reason that would make a human being, see himself as superior to another is beyond compression. The strangest bit is what would make human beings have a change of heart, negate and denounce their earlier unwarranted perceptions. All in all, human thoughts are very volatile and a paradigm shift is inevitable in the long run, so people should always be vigilant and put in check their prejudices.

Works Cited

Sternlicht, V., Sanford. Student Companion to Elie Wiesel. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2003. Print.

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

Woken-Rowley, Kathleen. Night Literature Guide. New York: Secondary Solutions, 2007. Print.

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