Night by Elie Weisel

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Despair is the loss of hope and expectation. It is giving up, being in the state of hopelessness, with no will or strength to try anymore. This emotion is renowned for troubling people who have been through or are still going through traumatizing events. Despair then can then lead to the loss of individuality and identity. In the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, loss of hope is portrayed through the actions and thoughts of the Jews of the Holocaust. Elie’s memoir reveals the true emotions the inmates feel when faced with the horrors of the concentration camps. Their helplessness gradually becomes hopelessness. In the novel, the passionate emotion communicated is despair. Elie’s experience tells us of this when he gives up on his religion, his family and the world in general, including himself. Firstly, despair is shown when Elie loses his faith. The horrors of the Holocaust “consumed my faith forever.” (Wiesel 34) The horrible conditions he lives through and witnesses traumatize him permanently and he can never forgive God for what He has allowed to happen:

“As for me, I had ceased to pray. I concurred with Job! I was not denying His existence, but I doubted His absolute justice.” (Wiesel 45) Elie goes from being a righteous Jew to no longer praying because he can’t believe the injustice that is being permitted and tolerated. This is the first step to completely giving up on his beliefs. Abandoning fasting quickly follows his unbelief. “And then, there was no longer any reason for me to fast. I no longer accepted God’s silence.” (Wiesel 69) Elie tries to send God a message through these two actions. It is his retaliation to God’s silence, trying to get his attention. Finally, God’s indifference makes Elie questions his existence altogether because he doesn’t believe that anyone, especially God, would let the cruel acts keep happening if they had the power to change it. “For God’s sake, where is God?” (Wiesel 65) This thought was shared...
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