English II Seminar
19 Mar 2012
Father-Son Relationships: A vital part of life
In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, there are many father-son duos. In my opinion, a good relationship between a father and his son are vital. Their relationships with each other are varied in terms of agreeability and love for each other. The Germans have sent the Jews off to concentration camps and caused very trying times. They have torn whole family’s apart and sent people at each other’s throats. Elie’s relationship with his father changes over time. During the years prior to Elie's Wiesel's experience in the Holocaust, Elie and his father shared a distant relationship that lacked a tremendous amount of support and communications but, eventually, their bond strengthens as they rely on each other for survival and comfort. Elie and his father didn’t have the customary father-son relationship. Elie retells that his father did not show signs of encouragement when he wanted to study the Kabbalah: "You are too young for that. Maimonides tells us that one must be thirty before venturing into the world of mysticism, a world fraught with peril. First you must study the basic subjects, those you are able to comprehend" (13). He recalls that “my father was a cultured man, rather unsentimental. He was more involved with the welfare of others than with that of his own kin.” (13). After he got transferred to the concentration camp, he lived for his father, which was rare because most of the fathers lived for their sons. This is proven when he revives his personal account of a son fighting his father for a crust of bread: “Meir, my little Meir! Don’t you recognize me…You’re killing your father… I have bread for you too… for you too…” (76). Another example of a son abandoning his father is when Rabbi Eliahu’s son abandons him on the way to the next concentration camp. According to him, “Sons abandoned the remains of their fathers without a tear” (70). Elie and his father were...