Night by Ellie Wiesel is a novel regarding Elie and the other jews being sent to forced labor and concentration camps. Elie Wiesel was about 15-16 years old when he and his family were expelled from their small town and forced to work or die. Elie and his father survive many of the hardships that arise. Soon he and his fellow Jews are liberated by the United States. The story makes you feel dreary at heart when you read about all of the hardships that Elie and his father had to go through and how they were dehumanized.
The story Night shows Eliezer’s journey, as the Holocaust makes him loose his faith in God and puts him in a horrible situation of inhumanity of which man is capable to go through. Later he became more religious, but while he was in the Holocaust, he lost his faith. Eliezer’s story represents the experiences of hundreds of thousands of Jews.
Another important chapter is Thant Eliezer who is present throughout the story which is his father. At the beginning of the book we are told that Eliezer’s father is respected by the entire Jewish community of Sighet. They both desperately try to remain together throughout their concentration camp in Auschwitz. One of the themes in Night that we see is that people should never be silent about the suffering of others. The silence of others only further allowed advantage to the Nazis to terrorize and murder the Jews and other people in the concentration camps.
One important aspect of the novel Night is family. At the begging of the book, with nothing else to cling, to prisoners in the concentration camps hold on to their family members. The most important thing is to stay with your family members as long as possible. For some, all that keeps them alive is the knowledge that their family is safe. Another important aspect is religion when Eliezer presents the Jewish fair in a moment of extreme darkness. When Eliezer sees babies and young children being thrown in to the Gas Chambers he feels that his God has abandoned them. Eliezer cannot reconcile the atrocities that he has with his notion of God. He does not stop believing in God but loses his faith that God is just not amazing. However, the race is another important aspect. Through the Holocaust the primary race of the Nazi’s were Jews due to there hate causing to the extermination of them due to their race. As a reader, you can’t help but get a sense of the arbitrariness of race the distinctions between the Aryans and the Jews blur, for example, when we learn that Eliezer’s little sister has blonde hair, the Aryan ideal. Throughout their time in the concentration cramps, the Jews try to keep their religious and cultural traditions alive, but it becomes increasingly difficult in the face of death and suffering.
The theme of this story when he struggles with his faith. Because as the story goes on he starts to lose more and more faith as he witnessed these atrocities. For example, “Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust.”(page #34) Another detail of family is “Sometimes your hero or guardian can be the person you less expected.” For the race, a perfect quote is “In the afternoon, they made us line up. Three prisoners brought a table and some medical instruments. We were told to roll up our left sleeve and file past the table. The three “veteran” prisoners, needles in hand, tattooed numbers on our left arms. I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name.”(page #42) This shows all normal traditions of Jewish customs gone including Jewish identity as they were stripped away by the Nazis. Also, they lost the lack of value to the Jewish prayer.
In conclusion, this book is not to draw out or meant to horrify you, it simply shows people the reality of oppression the Jewish people had to experience. Despite all the courage and strength many of these people show, they still faced oppression and racism. This book forces people to take a second glance to not allow it to repeat itself. Night uses a realistic not only is the story of the concentration camp but the story of a life in captivity and traumatic stress and memoirs that Wiesel and the Jewish survivors will face for their rest of life. This story perfectly balances a greater understanding of religion with the stories of Jewish history.
If you were a fan of Night, I think you would definitely like Dawn and Day. I recommend reading this to people who are interested in history, World War II, or just looking for a good read. I do recommend this book because it’s a great history lesson without actually being a boring history book, it gives you depth and can give you insight on what all of those millions of people went through.