Night by Elie Wiesel

Essay by sporkx71High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2005

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Although many Holocaust books often have an impact on the reader, Night contains a very real insight into the hardships of maintaining one's faith, suffering from physical exhaustion, and trying to survive. All of which, during those times, was very difficult, if not impossible to endure. Yet, somehow Eliezer manages to overcome the obstacles placed before him, even though at times it meant reducing himself to an animal like state in order to survive.

While Eliezer's enthusiasm for his religion was clear in the beginning of the novel, the tragic experience in the concentration camp truly challenged the faith he once held so dear. This internal conflict to maintain or abandon his faith became clear in moments of danger and distress. For example, as Eliezer was creeping toward the fiery pit full of charred corpses, he felt revolt rise up in him: "Why should I bless his name?" he questioned (31).

Having witnessed so much death and despair, Eliezer's faith began to dissolve. Yet, as he drew closer to the flames, he began to pray: "May his name be blessed and magnified." (31). This "about-face" was brought about by the increasing peril that gained intensity with each step he took. In light of the horrors of the Holocaust, it was difficult to sustain faith, but in those conditions, at times, faith was all he had.

While the Nazis' used many different weapons to weaken the Jews, unlike guns and whips, using physical exhaustion was an onslaught that few expected. The Jews were given a constant workload without rest. The consequence for taking a break or refusing to work was not only brutal, it was sometimes deadly. On page 52 Eliezer describes an account where his own father was the victim of this atrocious treatment, "He began to beat him...



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