Night by Elie Wiesel

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The relationship between Eliezer and his father in the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel is interesting because of the way the relationship strengthens and weakens over the course of the book. The relationship is also interesting because of the way Eliezer allows others (inmates, Kapos, etc.) to affect the way he feels towards his father.

In Night, the relationship between Eliezer and his father is, at first, not strong. This is shown when Eliezer rebels against his fathers wishes of not studying Kabbalah and seeks guidance for this subject from the town hobo, Moishe the Beadle: “And Moishe the Beadle, the poorest of the poor of Sighet, spoke to me for hours on end about the Kabbalah’s revelations and its mysteries.” (Section 1, Paragraph 5, Page 5). Eliezer’s father is a highly respected and very intelligent man and his opinion on public and private matters is often sought after in their community, Eliezer however, describes his father as “a rather unsentimental man” and “more involved with the welfare of others than with that of his own kin.” (Section 1, Paragraph2, Page 4). This makes the relationship between Eliezer and his father interesting because even though their relationship is weak, his father still play a big part in telling Eliezer what he can and cannot do and the role of his life in the family – “my place was in the house of study, or so they said” (Section 1, Paragraph 3, Page 4)

During their time together in Auschwitz, Eliezer and his father begin to grow closer. Eliezer demonstrates this when asked if he would like to be placed into a good Kommando and he replies with: “of course. But on one condition: I want to stay with my father.” (Section 4, Page 48, Paragraph 2). This may be because any strength and support they have left could only be found in each other: “My father’s presence was the only thing that stopped me [from allowing myself to die] … I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me? I was his sole support” (Section 6,...
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