How a Struggle for Survival Impacts a Father-Son Relationship
In the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, the struggle for survival influences the relationship between Elie and his father because it dramatically changes Elie’s thoughts on his father. Firstly, when Elie and his father arrive at the camp, they are very close and Elie’s father protects him. Elie thinks, “Still I was happy, I was near my father” (32). This quote demonstrates how Elie feels content by being next to his father. His father provides the comfort of seeing a familiar face in an unknown place. Also, Elie feels much safer when his father is near him. Later in the memoir, Elie feels protective of his father, not the other way around like when they had first arrived. He remembers, “Unfortunately, Franek know how to handle this; he knew my weak spot. My father had never served in the military and could not march in step…I decided to give my father lessons in marching in step, in keeping time” (55). Cleary, this shows how much Elie cares about his father. He doesn’t want to see his father getting hurt. Elie now protects his father. Finally, at the end of the story, Eliezer’s father becomes sicker and weaker by each passing day. Elie admits, “Yet at the same time a thought crept into my mind: If only I didn’t have [my father]! If only I were relieved of this responsibility, I could use all my strength to fight for my own survival, to take care of myself…” (106). This shows that Elie doesn’t want to have to care for his father anymore. He feels indifferent for his father. Elie views his father as a job he no longer wants to have. Throughout the memoir Night, Elie and his father’s relationship is strongly influenced by the struggle for survival at the concentration camps.
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