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“Night” by Elies Wiesel Literature Analysis

The principal idea of the Wiesel’s work Night is related to the relationship of the author with his father. For this reason, one may state that the book is considered to be an autobiographical story which reflects the thought and observations of the writer during the genocide of Jews. Wiesel was describing the strongest emotions which were provoked by the events of the Second World War.

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Generally, the major theme highlighted in the book is the Holocaust. The book concerns also with faith problem. Thus, the author described his own emotional experience concerning disappointment as well as dissatisfaction with religion. One of the most famous critics Schwarz affirms:

The night provides an entirely different account of the experience of the survivor. Night and the stories about its composition depict the survivor as a witness and as an expression of silence and death, projecting the recently liberated Eliezer’s death-haunted face into the postwar years when Wiesel would become a familiar figure (1).

One of the main characters of the autobiographical story is Moshe. He tried to let people know beforehand of their destiny, but nobody listened to him. For instance, Daniel R. Schwarz wrote the following:

For one thing, Wiesel is using him as a metonymy for himself in his present role as the narrator who is, as he writes, calling on us to listen to his words as he tells his relentless tale of his own miraculous escape from Nazi terror. Implicitly, he is urging us that it is our ethical responsibility not to turn away from the Witnessing Voice-Moshe, himself, indeed all those who have seen, specifically, the Holocaust, and metonymically, for us, man’s inhumanity to man whether it occurs in Bosnia, Northern Ireland, or Somalia (1).

The character performs the role of antithesis in this case. For instance, Moshe is opposed to the writer’s father. While reading a book, it becomes obvious that Wiesel’s father had never expressed his inner feelings. It seemed that he was busy with his own proceedings and family issues meant nothing for him. For instance, he had no time to answer his son’s questions, he had no time to communicate with him, while “crazy” Moshe was always glad to support a young boy and explain him everything he was interested in.

The author’s relationships with his father are rather complicated: it is difficult to say for sure that the father and his son have much in common. No, Wiesel feels no support at all. The only thing he is able to realize is that there are no family relations. Each person thinks about his/her own needs and requirements. That is why it is very difficult to understand the relations between family and friends in the story.

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The second question one must draw his/her attention to is related to Eliezer’s and the other prisoners’ respond to the hanging of the child. So, on the one hand, it seems to be quite strange that people reacted emotionally, as they saw children murdered all the time.

However, the fact that a child was alive when the Jews went through and had to look at the faces of killed people is recognized to be rather important. All the faces people saw before were immobile; there were no feelings of pain and honor – those people who died already couldn’t feel anything, but a child was alive…

People could not express their feelings, unfortunately. So, the second important problem which is highlighted in the story is the so-called inner conflict. Famous critic points out: “The conflict between silence and the scream, so prominent in Wiesel’s novels, is, in fact, a battle between death and life, between allegiance to the dead and care for the living, which rages in the survivor and resolves itself in the act of bearing witness” (Schwarz 1).

Works Cited

Schwarz, Daniel R. “The Ethics of Reading Elie Wiesel’s Night.” Style 32.2 (1998): 221+. Questia. Web.

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