Night Essay by Elie Wiesel

Topics: Family, Elie Wiesel, The Holocaust Pages: 3 (1157 words) Published: August 22, 2013
The prisoners of concentration camps faced and witnessed death daily, and so their primitive survival instincts became so strong over time that their own life mattered more than their family or anyone else's. They would do anything to survive. Night, by Elie Wiesel, is a memoir about his life in concentration camps during the time of the holocaust. Before going to the concentration camps, Eliezer is a normal boy with a loving family who would do anything for him, and he would do anything for them. Throughout his experience during the Holocaust, he witnesses prisoners sacrifice others, even family members to help ensure their survival. Elie too at times thinks of participating in these events with his own father. The harshness and horrendous environment of the Holocaust and its concentration camps led the prisoners to fight for survival. "In this place, it is every man for himself, and you can not think of others. Not even your father. In this place there is no such thing as father, brother, friend. Each of us lives and dies alone. (110) All of these moments of cruelty are provoked by the conditions the prisoners are forced to endure. In order to save themselves, these sons sacrifice their fathers, and their fathers sacrifice their sons. Thus throughout the story, the characters self-preservation is shown in many different ways. Firstly, the fight for bread on the cattle cars shows how the prisoners are willing to kill each other, just to get a piece of bread. On the ride to Buchenwald, a fight broke out among the prisoners. Onlookers and German citizens thought it was amusing to watch the prisoners fight each other for bread. An old man crawled from the group, clutching a piece of bread, with intentions to eat it all for himself. His son noticed and approached him."Meir, my little Meir! Don't you recognize me...You're killing your father...I have bread...for you too...for you too..." (101) This quote demonstrates how the father was going to keep the bread all...
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