September 26, 2011
Night and Life Is Beautiful Compare and Contrast Essay
Night by Elie Wiesel and Life Is Beautiful directed by Roberto Benigni are both detailed stories of the Holocaust experienced by a father and a son. However, both feature different tones during the stories. Night uses a depressing and dark tone, while Life Is Beautiful incorporates an optimistic and joyful tone. Weisel recalls the many horrific acts witnessed and how he tried to always be with his father. Whereas in Life Is Beautiful Guido (the father) tries to convince Joshua, his son, that this is simply for fun and they know nothing bad is going to happen. The tone in Night is depressing and centered around the oppression of the camps, yet the tone in Life Is Beautiful is humorous and the use of innocence to make a bad situation better. In Night there is always a negative outlook on what will happen next. They lost their humanity when they entered the camps and he could no longer look at himself as still human. Weisel states, “As we ran, they threw the clothes at us: pants, jackets, shirt . . . In a few seconds, we had ceased to be men” (37). When Elie first entered the camp, he could tell this was going to be a life or death situation. Nothing about this is happy and the diction used is very dark leading to the depressing tone. The thought of being killed any moment lingers over all the characters throughout the story. Every day they work, they run the risk of being killed by not performing up to par. Weisel recollects a certain health exam , “Here take the knife,’ he said, ‘I won’t need it anymore. You may find it useful’” (75). Even though Elie refuses the knife, because of believing his father would make it, both knew there was a great chance that he would not pass the health screening. Determination was all that kept both characters alive in Night, with the constant dark tone it seems as nothing good will be the outcome. Weisel...