Holocaust Literature: Theme of Harshness, Fear, and Survival

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John Jacob
Mrs. Balfash
English 9
12 December 2012

The Holocaust
If there was a god, why would he/she be so harsh? The text is compared to the book Night by Ellie Wiesel and from the poems “Night over Birkenau” and “Harbach 1944”. The book Night tells the story of a young boy and his father fighting for their freedom from the Nazis; Ellie Wiesel tells the story of his experience of the Holocaust. Both of the poems show the journeys of people and how they pictured all of the madness. Ellie fights through many hardships, but comes out of the Holocaust victorious! Ellie and his father were both willing and strong throughout the Holocaust, but his father escaped a different way. The theme states that during survival, people think about needs rather than wants. This is clearly developed in the poems “Night over Birkenau” By Janos Piliszky and “Harbach 1944” and Night to show harshness, survival, and fear.

The theme explains how the poems and Night show harshness by the condition and way of life people had to live through. If God is all good, why do bad things happen? This question is asked because some people might have asked the same one in the Holocaust, such as Ellie when he states, “Our first act…was to throw ourselves to provisions we thought only of that. ” Ellie explained how no one thought for others, but only thought for their needs such as food, water, and freedom. Ellie Wiesel no longer has feelings of love or compassion towards others because of the Holocaust.

The theme explains how the poems and Night show survival by the people of the Holocaust fighting for crumbs of food or eating snow. What has had the greatest impact on our lives? This question may have been asked by many people including Ellie when he states, “We lived on snow; into the pleasure of bread.” Ellie says this as he explains how they were tortured in a way by getting no food to a point where they had to resort to survival to live. Ellie Wiesel had to use great...
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