Eli Wiesel's Night and Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities

Eli Wiesel's Night and Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities

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Eli Wiesel's “Night” and Charles Dickens' “A Tale of Two Cities”


Life is not always fair. There is no real explanation for this. In almost all constitutions people are created equal but very rarely are all of them treated this way. But before the French revolution happened very few people even had these rights. Then when WW II came around the Jewish people were targeted by the Nazis. They were stripped of all their rights and basically became slaves to the Nazis party. The Nazis tried to rid Europe of the Jewish people and if they had their way eventually the whole world would be free of this religious group. The character that people show through times of adversity can define them individually and as an entire group. In “Night” Eli Wiesel faces life and death everyday in the Nazis concentration camp. While in “A tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens, Carton saves Darnay’s life twice once during a trial and another at the guillotine even though Carton resents Darnay shows mans true potential.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” (Dickens), this famous quote can be applied to more than just the opening of A Tale of Two Cities. In this very moment there are great things going on all over the world. Things like scientific discovers and diplomatic resolutions to international problems are being done right now. There are however many problems happening too. Civil wars and ethnic cleansings occurring in Africa the tsunami that devastated many Asian islands were people are struggling to survive. Yet with all of these things man does not give up we fight on through and that could be mans greatest asset. To fight on even though there doesn’t seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The most horrific of tragedies ever to happen to man was due to mans evil. The holocaust was a tragedy where over 11 million innocent people were killed for no other reason than there religious beliefs. The most amazing thing though is not the cruelty of man but instead the strength of the human race to fight through even though so many have lost their lives for no reason. Not to say that they never had doubts of whether they were going to make it through. Even the people who before this never had a waiver in their faith had trouble staying strong in belief that God will save them.

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“Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live.” (Eli Wiesel). He never did give up though he fought through the silence, not to mention the pain and humiliation that he was put through by all the older people and the Nazis who worked the camps. Some things that were done to them were just being beaten and given rations that in no way could give enough nutrition for people doing all that hard work. Eventually these survivors lasted through all this horrific treatment and were rescued by the Allies. They will never be the same as before they entered the camp but their true character was reviled under such appalling circumstances.

It is not always a religious group that is being tormented but it can be an entire social class. During the French revolution it was the lower class that was being suppressed. Eventually they had enough and rose up to fight and overturn the social structure. Even though they thought what they were doing was for the betterment of their society as a whole. By the end they were out of control and many innocent people lost their lives. In this novel Dickens shows how important sacrifice is on both a national and individual level. He shows how important it is for individuals in a nation having to give up loyalties and friendships for the good of a nation. On the individual level Carton a lawyer gives up his life for his friend Darnay after he is arrested again for the second time. This just shows how a man (Carton) who feels he has nothing to live for finds something that is worth while friendships. The fact that he was an alcoholic and had no interest in his own life can become a hero.

“We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We had forgotten everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs. Stronger than cold or hunger, stronger than the shots and the desire to die, condemned and wandering, mere numbers, we were the only men on earth.”(Eli Wiesle). This quote shows mans true strength. The ability to fight through such an unthinkable horror, yet nothing they do can hurt you anymore. It is saddening to have to hear of this pain that they go through. But in a way it gives everyone who reads this to reflect on how their life is. On how strong they are. People may look at this and just ponder about how they might have reacted in this situation. The most important thing is that it gives hope to all of the people who are in such a situation. That no matter how badly you are being treated there is still a chance for you to make it through. I still have yet to understand why one religious group has gone through such an incredibly painful history. Whenever a group is to be pushed down and suppressed it always seems to be the Jewish people that have to put up with it and try to live as normal a life as the can. As well people use tough times to help others and to show who they truly are. They will sacrifice for the good of their friends and others even if it means that there is a chance that they could lose their life. This is the ultimate sacrifice that can not be judged on any scale, but it can only truly be appreciated by those that are saved by such a selfless act.

There are many different problems that people will face everyday. It is not very common though for such historic events to happen that will in turn change the entire face of the world and man itself. But there are challenges that people will face everyday. It is always uplifting to everyone who hears these stories of triumph over adversity. It’s just that there are all too many times in which people do not have the will. This is where our society must come in to help these people beat the social problems that exist in our world. The one true goal is though is to stop all of this racial and religious prejudice in our world and avoid going through any of these painful events again.
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