Night is a book that tells of a murder and a man’s inhumanity toward man. Wiesel saw his family, friends, and fellow Jews degraded and murdered. Wiesel also states in his book that God, to whom he was so devoted, was also “murdered” by Nazis. In the novel Wiesel changed a devout Jew to a broken young man who doubted his belief in God. A prevalent theme in Night is man’s inhumanity toward man. The concentration camps were full of horrific doings, like when the S.S Officers slaughtered little babies with machine guns, “Babies were thrown into the air and machine gunners used them to targets” (Wiesel 14).
Another example of man’s inhumanity toward man would be when Elie witnessed the police brutally beat every Jew that they felt like hitting, it didn’t to the police who they hit or beat, “The Hungarian police struck out with truncheons and rifle butts, to right and left, without reason, indiscriminately their blows falling upon old men and women, children and invalids alike” (Wiesel 16). A final example of man’s inhumanity toward man was the fact that people were so hungry that they would fight and each other just for a piece of bread. They would turn on each other for very small
amounts of food, “One day we had stopped, a workman took a piece of bread out of his bag and threw it into the wagon. There was a stampede. Dozens of starving men fought each other to the death for a few crumbs. The German workmen took lively interest in the spectacle” (Wiesel 21). A second prevalent theme in Night was the importance of father and son relationships. Elie was fighting to stay with his father at all costs because he was so worried that he would lose his father, “My father held on to my hand”, “At all costs we must stay together”, “I had one thought—not to lose him. Not to be left alone” (Wiesel 26). Another example of the importance of father son relationships was when Elie was battling to stay awake because he knew that if he fell asleep, he would die, he was also trying to keep his father alive and moving, “Don’t let yourself be overcome by sleep, Elizer.
It’s dangerous to fall asleep in the snow. You might sleep for good. Come on, come on, get up”, “Come on father, it’s better over there. We can lie down a bit, one after the other. I’ll watch over you, and then you can watch over me. We won’t let each other fall asleep. We’ll look after each other” (Wiesel 30). One final example of the importance of father and son relationships’ is when Elie’s father had finally died. Elie said there was really no point to lie after his father’s death, “I had to stay at Buchenwald until April eleventh. I have nothing to say of my life during this period. It no longer mattered. After my father’s death nothing could touch me anymore” (Wiesel 33).
In conclusion, Night is a memoir of murder and man’s inhumanity toward man. Throughout the entire book, it proves time and time again that World War II was full of examples of man’s inhumanity toward man, and examples of how the relationship between a father and a son is a very important aspect when trying to survive.
Courtney from Study Moose
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