Elie Wiesel's "Night"

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In the memoir, Night, author Elie Wiesel portrays the dehumanization of individuals and its lasting result in a loss of faith in God. Throughout the Holocaust, Jews were doggedly treated with disrespect and inhumanity. As more cruelty was bestowed upon them, the lower their flame of hope and faith became as they began turning on each other and focused on self preservation over family and friends. The flame within them never completely died, but rather stayed kindling throughout the journey until finally it stood flickering and idle at the eventual halt of this seemingly never-ending nightmare. Elie depicts the perpetuation of violence that crops up with the Jews by teaching of the loss in belief of a higher power from devout to doubt they endure.

Elie undergoes drastic measures in the death camps throughout the Holocaust that transform him from dedicated to his faith to furious and untrustworthy of God. Before the deportation to Auschwitz, he was ruthless to studying, praying, and living through the words of the Lord; “by day studying Talmud and by night running to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple” (3). In fact, Elie was so devout and concentrated on his faith that whilst thirteen, he wanted to study “Kabbalistic works, the secrets of Jewish mysticism” (5) which was normally never ventured into until the age of thirty, when one can comprehend such a concept on a better level. Despite the normal standards true to Kabbalah, Elie was convinced that Moishe the Beadle had the knowledge and power to help him “enter eternity, into the time when question and answer would become ONE” (5). In time, Elie and fellow Jews relentless commitment to faith turned into denial when the first news that “German troops has pe...

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... shows that he may be starting to regret his decision of losing faith in God. Second, he “did not fast”, he did not “accept God’s silence” anymore, and he began to “protest against Him” (69). As a result of God being absent when Elie needed Him, he betrays God and his faith. Finally, a friend in the barracks tells Elie, “it’s over. God is no longer with us” (76). Elie’s faith is hard to conclude- although he may have begun to regret his decision he still is betraying God and no longer trusts Him... but rather doubts Him.

Formerly, the idea of giving up faith would have seemed surreal when Elie was a strong believer in God. Nevertheless, after enduring all of the trepidation, dismay and shock through his voyage in the death camps, Elie truly does become angry with God and doubt His existence when the terrors of this nightmare come to a halt and he is freed at last.

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