The book by Elie Wiesel is a record of events that happened at the time of the holocaust. Elie tallies his interaction with the things that were happening through the narrator, Eliezer, in the book. Eliezer represents Wiesel but with a small difference in the real events. Night tells the circumstances that accompanied Hungarian Jews who had not been impacted by the final answer of Hitler to destroy all Jews were it not for Nazis in 1944 who sought to endanger atrocities contrary to them. The Nazis labored with much effectiveness because of pressure thrust on them by the allied forces. 560,000 people got killed from Hungary, and only an estimate of 50 families out of 15000 Jews from Wiesels town remained before the defeat of Nazis in 1945. Night finds a solution in Eliezer and his father with references to his mother and small sister among other Jews. Eliezer becomes a remnant in the concentration camps, but for the reasons that atrocities committed, he starts to doubt his faith in God.
Eliezer is a small boy who follows strictly Jewish traditions. He is much concerned with Jewish laws and teaching as seen in his studies of Talmud. The same continues when he studies Cabbala which is unusual for a young boy. It tells that Eliezer as a person was concerned about religion and concentrated his faith in God but the things that followed made him divert his realities and finally causes him to struggle with his belief in God and religion. When Nazis took over Hungary, things started to change so fast. There was the implementation of punitive laws against the Jews.
When Eliezer arrived at Auschwitz conflict with his faith became obvious. Here is where he meets with babies burnt and adults regarded not good for jobs in furnaces by the Nazis. At this times Jews prayed for the dead and gave thanks to God. Eliezer wondered about the issue and questioned why to bless God or thank Him. It marked the start of his waning believes in God. Jews had to undergo selection as needed by the Nazis to tell if a person was fit for work. Eliezer and his dad succeeded the choice but his sister and mother condemned to the furnace. It makes him show his waning faith in God as seen an example in the following passage quote:
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments that killed my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never will I forget those things, even were I cursed to live as long as God himself. Never Eliezer believes that the burning of children and furnace and adults killed his faith in God. Some of the men spoke about God: His mysterious ways, the sins of the Jewish people, and the redemption to come. As for me, I had stopped to pray. I agree with Job. I did not deny His existence, but I doubted His absolute justice.
It shows the continued separation of Eliezer from his prior beliefs and the difficulty with his faith in a just God. It gives Gods failure to offer justice to the innocent. Eliezers faith got another blow when a small boy hanged. The fact that people liked him in the camp did not make sense, and the condition of this boys sentence was unreasonable. The young boy died painfully and slowly which made Eliezer lose faith in God as explained by his statement:
In my back, I heard the same person asking: for Gods sake, where is God? And from within me, I heard a voice answer: where He is? He is hanging here from this gallows Although Eliezer still believes that God exists his first view diverted when the boy got hanged because he says God died on same gallows with the young boy that day.
Innocent Jews were made to suffer in the most horrible ways possible. Eliezer was himself starved. He and his father were merely surviving. He saw his father beaten without mercy not only by Nazis but also by fellow Jews for not going outside to relieve himself. Eliezer also witnessed a Jewish son and his father murder each other because of a piece of bread. It made him lack peace until he surrendered all hope and ceased believing in Gods goodness. He lost his praise to God: why should I bless his name? The eternal, lord of the universe, the all-powerful and terrible was silent. What had I to thank him for?
Eliezer lost his belief in Gods justice. He looked innocent Jews killed. Seeing Jews being consumed by the furnace scares him forever. He knew the Nazis were evil and wrong. Eliezer could not change anything about his familys situation. Eliezer reduced to bones. He starved until he was not able to cry on the death of his father. He was even freed in a way knowing that his father would no more be a burden. He became so far from God and also stopped praying. He questioned God:
Where is the divine mercy? Where is God? How can we believe, how can anyone believe, in this merciful God?
Apart from Eliezer, many more Jews lost hope in humanity and faith in God. They were full of disgust, as the God they served had abandoned them in their situation. Most of them rebelled against their religious upbringing and didnt just accept Gods silence. It is debatable if Eliezer lost hope in his religion, but it is sure that he has changed vastly from his previous religious belief. Sickened by the torture Eliezer must tolerate, he questioned if God exists: Why, but why should I bless him? Since in his great might, had created Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many other factories of death? All through the Holocaust, Wiesels belief is still there. Though after his father died, his faith in religion and God shook to the core and debatably gone. Wiesel, among most prisoners, loses their hope in God. His loss of religion befits the loss of humanity, selfishness, decency, and identity.
When Eliezer was young, he was so much into religion. The teacher taught him how to interact with the world, the importance of God and the reason for creation. His father thought all this to be too much for a young boy and so did not find him a teacher to teach him. His father said when he is thirty of age; then he can venture into the world of mysticism. Disappointed and determined to get someone to teach him about the mysticism of the world, Wiesel encounters with Moishe the Beatle, I succeeded on my own in finding a master for myself in the person of Moishe the Beatle. Moishe interrogates Eliezer stirring up questions on religion and interceding to deepen his understanding, Why do I live? Why did I breathe? Even when in the ghetto, Eliezer still believes and is entirely orthodox.
We assume that Eliezers faith had not been shocked in the past on how he is so affected by what happens on his first night in the concentration camp. Everything he believed started to disintegrate mainly because all the people in prison were powerless to rebel. They directed their anger in the direction of the only being that felt was the cause of everything that was happening in their lives. Even though he seemed to have lost hope entirely from this quote live as long as God Himself he still actually believes in God.
Eliezer had lost faith in God to the point of saying this: I knew my transgressions causes the Almighty to mourn and so I asked for pardon. I believed as a whole in those days that for the world to receive salvation, it relied on every one of my deeds and prayers. But as for now, I no longer ask for anything. I was no more capable of lamenting. On the opposite, I felt stronger. I accused God. My eyes opened, and I was alone in a world without God or man. A world with no love or mercy. I was nothing more than ashes now, but still even in that still felt so strong than this God where my life had been so bound for long. Among men gathering for prayer, I felt like a stranger.
Eliezer wonders why he should thank God. He says Why should I bless God? Every nerve in me rebelled. Because He was the one that caused children to burn in his mass graves? Is it because he kept six crematoria laboring days and night, Sabbath included and Holy Days? Or because in his power, he created Birkenau, Auschwitz, and Buna as well as many factories of death? How can I call Him blessed and Almighty in the whole Universe yet he chooses us among all other nations to suffer day and night as he looked our mothers, fathers, and brothers ending up in furnaces? Praise be to the holy of holies that allowed us to killed on his altar?
Humans are fond of substituting God for themselves. After suffering, they feel as if they fight for their survival. In chapter six of Night, the people in prison are commanded to run or sprint from Buna to another place, and surprisingly some of them reached the new location alive. We were masters of nature, masters of the world. We have forgotten everything-death, fatigue, and other needs. Stronger than hunger or cold, stronger than the shots and desire to die, wandering and condemned, small numbers, we were the only male on earth. In this quote, Eliezer describes how he feels. He says he now views the world godless. The prisoner started making their God and considered themselves the masters of the universe. They compare themselves with God and tell if they were able to endure all and come out alive, there is nothing they cannot do.
When he talks about Akiba Drummer, dying Wiesel says faith makes someone have a reason to live and fight for their life. He profoundly argues his faith. In his thoughts, hope is nothing but only illusion. He thinks that he believes an all-powerful creator does not exist. Even though almost has no faith in God, Wiesel is advancing his spiritual fight with views of religion which does not allow him to lose his belief yet in a higher power completely. Its the desire of all to live on but without believing at a higher power, the cause of living reduces, and that is why even at the worst suffering faith does not entirely disappear. Also when someone says they dont believe in God, somewhere in their thoughts they know there got to be a god higher than an earthly life, otherwise, no reason to endure in the most terrible times. Eliezer puts more emphasize of this in chapter six during the respite from the walk to Gleiwitz. He had felt that his father was growing weak, he had believed that the end was near and had sought this separation to get rid of the burden, to free himself from an encumbrance which could lessen his chances of survival. I had done well to forget that, and I was glad that Rabbi Eliahu should go on to look for his son. And instead of myself, a prayer rose in my heart, to God in that I no longer believed. My God, the Lord of the Universe, grant me the strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahus son has done. He asks God for strength for he has not ultimately lost his faith. He knows he will later be able to keep his belief stable and have more power.
Prisoners in Holocaust wanted a reason to fight and survival. For most people, the idea was faith in the Lord, but since Wiesel had lost all faith in God, the remaining thing to struggle for surviving was his dad. He comes to learn that Nazis cruelty disoriented everyones opinion and made prisoners cruel at heart. Survival took the highest priority during Holocaust and made prisoners to turn each other without a second thought. Wiesel is afraid of becoming the same too and turns on his father. All through his experience, he gets to learn that all humans can turn cruel to others. His prayer to God makes us believe that Eliezer still has faith in God. At this point, Wiesel no more considers himself the master of nature as he said earlier on. It, therefore, clarifies that he never entirely lost his faith in God.
In the whole story Wiesel tries to tell us that for him to manage the Holocaust, he needed to hold on to his faith in God or else he would have given up on life faster and would...
If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the thesishelpers.org website, please click below to request its removal:
- 1989, The Year Of Revolutions in Eastern Europe - Research Paper in History
- Historical Essay on Women and Slavery
- Analysing Texts on Slavery
- Historical Case Study Example: Falklands War
- Common Sense by Thomas Paine - Literary Essay Example
- Argumentative Essay Sample: The Role of Gender in the Burial at Thebes
- Literary Analysis Essay on Once More to the Lake by Elwyn Brooks White