Elie Wiesel wrote this book for people who want to get a better understanding of the Holocaust and to those who remembered the Holocaust. He knows that as time passes, the attention to the Holocaust will fade. By presenting about the Holocaust, Wiesel is speaking to both the historical audience and the modern one. It is here where the moral point of view will make Elie Wiesel speak to both the audience of the modern setting, warning them of what happens when a lack of interest becomes socially accepted. At the same time, Wiesel is speaking to a historical audience that understands that the lack of interest was responsible for the terrible crimes that were done during the Holocaust. It is here where Wiesel’s audience is both in the present and in the past and shocks both places over what is seen today.
Elie Wiesel’s Narrative
The power of Elie Wiesel’s narrative is based on both his feelings and his reactions and how honest he is about them. When he sees the crematory he says, “A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this with my own eyes….children thrown into the flames”. The fact that Elie Wiesel states this without any hesitation makes the narrative a lot stronger.
On the next page, he says, “Someone began to recite Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. I don’t know whether, during the history of the Jewish people, men have ever before recited Kaddish for themselves… For the first time, I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?” When Wiesel repeats these questions, Wiesel makes his point stronger by saying that they are not answerable. Although this book was written when he was an adult, he takes the feelings that he had as a teenager and then recaptures it. At the end of the book, Wiesel is not surprised at all by his image in the mirror. But the still effect of it upon his soul, his inner self, is made clear in the final sentence, “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.”
Selfish Human Nature
The author, Elie Wiesel, argues that humans are naturally selfish. They may hide it with morals, laws, etc. But, once those things are taken away, we can become desperate and when we become desperate, only our own world will start to matter. There is a mindset that is placed in everyone’s mind that in the end, only the person’s own self will matter to them. To reach one’s own needs is the means of survival. Morals cannot simply just put food in your belly. Laws cannot get rid of your thirst. Relationships cannot get rid of death when they are in the same situation. The thought, “Why should I help another when I myself is barely alive?” takes control of our mind that it will become the truth. This was the truth of Wiesel when he was put in very terrible conditions. This was simply the truth of humanity. Humans are selfish. This side of mankind will never disappear and the author Elie Wiesel strongly argues this point through the image of human actions that are shown throughout the novel. He argues against the illusions of a good person. No one can be good. Not when there is darkness lurking around that people might think will disappear but instead, that darkness never will.