top-rated free essay

Night by Elie Wiesel

By wlhenrickson Oct 24, 2014 813 Words

Whitney Henrickson
AtchleyHonors English II (4th)
2/19/13
The Demise of a Man’s Once Fortified Faith
During the Holocaust, several Jewish communities were invaded by German forces. These communities were shattered. The towns were safely settled one day. The next day they were being deported to concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Buchenwald. In 1944, this is precisely what occurred to the community of Jews in Sighet, Transylvania, including a boy named Elie Wiesel. Wiesel depicts the story of his time during the Holocaust in his novel, Night. In Night, Elie was taken from everything he knew, his home, his family, his friends, and his spiritual mentor. The time spent at the camps transformed him into someone he could not recognize. He lost his family by both emotional and physical separation. The faith Elie once had in humanity, God, and himself slowly slipped through his thin fingers as time passed in the camps, and Elie would never be the same. Elie lost his faith in humanity when he arrived in Auschwitz. A man told him, “You are in Auschwitz…work or the crematorium, the choice is yours”(Wiesel 38-39). However, the choice was not his. Men from a society that displayed nothing but pure hatred towards the Jews chose their fate for them. Their fate was life or death, work or the crematorium. Elie did not understand how the rest of the world could be aware of the massacre of the Jewish population and allow it to continue. Elie saw things he would give anything to forget. “Not far from us, flames, huge flames…children being thrown into the flames”(Wiesel 32). These experiences made forgiving mankind impossible. Elie came to the disheartening conclusion that the craven world would not try to spare them. Elie saw many horrific scenes that immediately caused him to question his God’s character and his faith in God. Having to view babies being thrown into a ditch burning like waste and a child hung, still gasping for his last breaths were the things that destroyed his belief in God the most. “For God’s sake, where is God? And from within me… This is where, hanging from this gallows”(Wiesel 65). Elie couldn’t imagine how a just and merciful God could allow such suffering to continue. He was not denying that God existed, but doubting his goodness and mercy. After some time in the camp, others continued to praise God. He could not comprehend why they would worship and praise a God who allowed so many lives to be reduced to ashes. “Blessed be God’s name? Why, but why would I bless him…Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on thine altar?” (Wiesel 67) Elie found himself in disbelief and anger at those who continued to be rooted in their belief that God would carry them through because his faith in God was destroyed. Elie’s dignity and identity were shaken to the core throughout his horrid experiences in the concentration camps. “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me”(Wiesel 115). Elie felt lifeless inside. The camps had demolished the beliefs, compassion, and joy that had once filled him. Elie’s compassion and perception of himself was polluted by his will to survive. “…all that mattered to me was my daily bowl of soup…I was nothing but a body, perhaps even less, a famished stomach. The stomach alone measured time”(Wiesel 52). Surviving became his one and only goal. He no longer felt the presence of his heart and soul. All he had to look forward to was his daily bowl of soup, his only constant, his lifeline. Elie lost all faith in himself during the camps and was unsure that he would ever have the capability to regain it. Elie Wiesel went from a naive young man with strong beliefs, a family whom he loved, and a positive perception of himself to a man who found himself with no known family, horrifying memories, and most significantly, his own faith in tatters. He was faced with the ultimate trial of his time at the camps, which pushed him and his faith to the breaking point. He did not like what those difficult times brought out in him, a man who turned against his former beliefs in man, God, and himself. He watched his faith slowly die along with thousands of other innocent Jews. He saw things he claimed he would never forget, “even if he was condemned to live as long as God”(Wiesel 34); though it seems that erasing those memories is something he would like the most. At the end of the Holocaust, Elie is left with nothing but the ashes of his once fortified faith in humanity, God, and himself.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Night by Elie Wiesel

    ...again, and education will help prevent genocides in the future. In the face of evil man can surpass the death that evil brings upon it. In the book Night by Elie Wiesel, he describes the event of selection which occurs every two weeks. Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night,...

    Read More
  • Night by Elie Wiesel

    ...Night by Elie Wiesel Essay Humans go through and encounter situations that can perhaps alter our actions and way of being. The Domino Effect theory states that when one of the dominoes falls, it triggers the next one... but removing the key part will prevent the start of the chain reaction, revealing the truth about people, a situation is ...

    Read More
  • Dehumanization in Night by Elie Wiesel

    ...Sharrett March 23, 2015 English 11-Night Essay Dehumanization is defined as the psychological process of demonizing the enemy, making them seem less than human and hence not worth of humane treatment. It also can lead to increased violence, human rights violations, war crimes, and genocide. When there is severe hatred and aversion towards a di...

    Read More
  • night by elie wiesel

    ... Elie Wiesel Why were many atrocities committed during the Holocaust? Elie Wiesel was one of the 3,000 prisoners who was liberated from Auschwitz on April 11th when the first American military units arrived and liberated the camp. Wiesel therefore has dedicated his life to write about his horrifying experience, but most importantly to ...

    Read More
  • Night by Elie Wiesel

    ...Experiencing the Worst but Finding the Best Night, a memoir by Elie Wiesel, is crucial in the understanding of human nature. Night represents the best and the worst of the human experience in many ways. Wiesel explains his horrible journey through the Holocaust, but tells about how it expanded his compassion, brought him closer to his father, ...

    Read More
  • Night By Elie Wiesel Analysis

    ...In Elie Wiesel’s memoir, “Night”, readers see a dramatic change from the young, sensitive and spiritual individual to a, boy with the mindset of an adult that is spiritually dead and is unemotional. Elie shows this in his memoir by rewriting what he saw, thought, or what he heard while in concentration camps, this occurs, in the three sect...

    Read More
  • Night by Elie Wiesel

    ...NIGHT Introduction The Holocaust was the attempt by the Nazi regime to systematically exterminate the European Jewish race during World War II. The Holocaust was a reference to the murder of around six million Jews and other minority groups such as homosexuals, gypsies and the disabled (Wiesel, 2008). In the 1930’s the Jewish populati...

    Read More
  • Night by Elie Wiesel

    ...The ground is frozen, parents weep over their children, stomachs void, rigid bodies huddle together to stay warm. This was a reoccurring scene during the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel’s Night describes the horror of what the Holocaust did, not only to the Jews, but to humanity. The disturbing neglect the Nazi party had for human beings, and the human...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.