20, September, 2012
Reacting to Oppression
Human beings react and cope with difficult and oppressive environments in different ways. In the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, Elie has to survive the ever present dangers of life in Jewish concentration camps while trying to keep his father alive who is imprisoned along with him. Through the incredible experiences of spiritual, emotional and physical oppression, Elie has to cope by adapting and overcoming the challenges he is faced with to survive. Using vivid descriptions and memoirs of conversations among the Jewish prisoners, Elie illustrates how some people adapted and overcame to survive by becoming selfish and how he adapted and overcame the same threats to survival by showing love towards his father and for his father’s love toward him in times of struggle, in the book Night.
In the Memoir Night, Elie Wiesel shows all of us that during times of spiritual, emotional, or, physical oppression, people can drastically change. In the case of Elie, his life was forever changed as he witnessed the hanging of the two men and the little boy, Oberkapo’s pipel. As told on page 65, “But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing. . . And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes. And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished. Behind me, I heard the same man asking: “for God’s sake, where is God?” And from within me, I heard a voice answer: “where He is? This is where—Hanging here from this gallow. . .” Elie’s conviction of seeing God reminded me ironically of Christ crucified and asking His Father, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” I believe like Elie witnessed, people will have their faith in themselves and in God tested beyond their own human experience. If you believe in Christ, you believe in love and the...
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