Essay on The Stranger and Night

Essay on The Stranger and Night

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It is a common belief that in times of turmoil love will be the strong point that allows us to live through the ‘dark’. However, Albert Camus and Elie Wiesel in their novellas The Stranger and Night challenge the idea that love will be the hero that saves all in the end. The authors create characters that gain and lose the love of family, community, and religion. They both start out on different paths, Eliezer a boy with family and love and all well, and Meursault, an existentialist. Yet, they both end on the same road.
Religion is a large force in the books, for whose love is the most forgiving, benevolent and easiest to achieve, God’s. However, religion in Camus’ and Wiesel’s worlds is a factor of isolation and a loss of faith for both characters. Eliezer, in Sighet, is very religious, goes to the Synagogue with everyone and stays later with Moishe the Beadle learning the Kabbalah. At the beginning he feels that he is “deeply observant” as Moishe gives him an insight into the more mystic side of religion, giving him an ‘answer’ to God and how things work. “Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, [he liked to say] Therein lies true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don’t understand His replies… The real answers, [Eliezer], you will find only within yourself” (Wiesel, p.5). This quotation shows us a view of God, we do not understand God, yet we know he is there and he is benevolent. At this stage Eliezer feels a close love and bond towards God. There is no experience with the evils of the world therefore there are no evils in the world. Once at the concentration camps he sees everything, and that view quickly changes, at first they believe that “God is testing” them. The longer the stay the lower the ...


... middle of paper ...


...e your own is holding you down.
By the end of both novellas, Night and The Stranger, the protagonists Meursault and Eliezer have lost their humanity, they are only empty shells of the men they once were or could have been. One tried to hold onto love through his journey in the Night, and ended up losing everything. The other tried to push away everything in life, and not hold onto any meaning however only when faced with the end could he truly let go of life and ‘accept the nothingness’. Are Elie and Albert’s view on love correct? Is love just a wistful wish that we cling onto to try and protect ourselves or is it just a weight that in the end doesn’t give any shelter, useless and worn with overuse.

Bibliography:
Camus, Albert. The Stranger. New York: Everyman's Library, 1993. Print.
Wiesel, Elie. Night: Elie Wiesel. New York: HIll and Wang, 2006. Print.


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