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Night For Jews - Elie Wiesel's "Night" - With A Free Essay Review




When living is making life hell just keep on moving forward. The main character and the author in the book, Night, is Elie Wiesel. The book Night is about a family going to a concentration camp called, Auschwitz. He had to make some major life choices, and choices about his religion. Also, how he changes throughout the book is very noticeable.

Elie, had to make a few major life-threatening decisions at the concentration camp. He had one major one with his dad. He would do almost anything for his dad in the beginning. But, his dad was getting beat up and him or his dad could not move. And when his dad disappears over night, he did not care about life anymore. He cared for his dad to a great extent. Also, when the dentist wanted his gold crown out of his mouth. He did not want to go so he made up an excuse not to get it removed. “I don’t feel very well…”(59) he said. From that moment on, he was starting to take the camp much more serious, because he was scared. When they first arrived he went with his dad instead of his mom. And by the end of the first night he had learned more then he probably wanted to learn. He also said, “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night…”(43). He went with his dad, because he was more like his dad instead of his mom.

His religion sort of changed throughout the book as well. At the beginning him and his family had no problem with fasting. Fasting is when you go without all food. But by the end his dad said no to him fasting in the camp. The week does not last long at the concentration camps. His belief was off and on through out the book. At one point he will be all out for his religion, but at other times he barley follows it at all. “I looked at our house, where I had spent so many years in search for my God,”(28) this was right before they were getting ready to be deported. After he got to the concentration camp, he got a sense of disbelief. From seeing and smelling all of the burning flesh of people. Throughout the book him praying became few and far apart. At the beginning Moche asked him “Why do you pray?” And Elie answered by sayng “Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?”(14)

Elie had to make some major choices throughout the book. But what comes with choices and decisions, makes a man a real man, and makes him realize what it takes to become a man. Also, some of the things that might have influced him is all of the events that he saw at the concentration camp. What the Germans did to the Jews throughout the Holocaust. They burned the Jews, they buried them, they staved them to death, and they shot them on occasions.

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ESSAY REVIEW

You say that Elie had to make major life choices, but you don't explain what they are, unless you mean the decision he had to make on arriving at Auschwitz, which is probably not the kind of choice most people would think of as a life choice. So I'm not surprised that when you get to the second paragraph, you change the way you characterize his choices. You call them "life-threatening decisions." (Note: you should specify at the beginning of the paragraph exactly what was the choice he had to make with respect to his dad, because it is a little unclear what you are talking about there at the outset.) You don't, however, explain why the decision to stay with the father was a "life-threatening decision." Moreover, that's the only decision you discuss in that paragraph, whereas the opening sentence implies more than one such decision had to be made. In the middle of that paragraph you recount a story about the dentist, but don't explain its significance with respect to the argument of your essay as a whole. The same is true of the quotation at the end of that paragraph ("Never shall I forget that night ... "). It's always a good idea to explain the significance of quotations (for your overall argument).

In your next paragraph, you discuss changes in Elie's religious beliefs (or practices). Your argument here is very vague. You say his "belief was off and on throughout [note, it's one word, not two] the book." That expression is very awkward, but I understand what you mean. The larger problem is that you don't give many examples of the changes in his beliefs. You do quote a sentence that might be relevant to the question of his changing beliefs ( "I looked at our house ...") but again you don't explain its significance (although you do, rightly, provide a little bit of context). You then claim that he "got a sense of disbelief" when he arrived at the camp. Presumably you mean that this sense came "from seeing ... the burning flesh of people" but you put the phrase "from seeing ... etc.," in a separate sentence, making it a sentence fragment, when (presumably) you meant it to be part of the previous sentence. You end that paragraph with another apparently relevant quotation, but again don't explain why you think it is important, and instead leave it up to the reader to try to figure out its significance. It's never a good idea to leave the difficult interpretive problems in the hands of your readers. Us readers usually aren't up to the task, especially if we have not read the book and don't know the context from which the quotation is taken.

Although you return to the general question of decision-making in your final paragraph, your comment there is a bit vague. You don’t explain how making decisions makes one a man. And after that you don't so much offer a conclusion to your essay in that paragraph as much as you simply, if I may put it this way, stop writing. You end with a statement about what the Germans did to the Jews (note that the penultimate sentence is also actually a fragment of a sentence), but offer no commentary on the facts presented there that would explain how they relate to your overall point. In saying that kind of thing again, you probably think I'm flogging a dead horse, which I suppose I am, but the point is so important as to bear apparently inordinate repetition. Think of your essay as an attempt to make an argument. Think of the evidence (factual claims, quotations, summary, and so on) as attempts to support that argument. Once you've decided what your argument is (i.e., what your essay is really about, what it's trying to convince the reader of) and what your evidence is, then, the final and most important step is linking the evidence to the argument. Explaining the significance of evidence is the way you have to do that.

Best, EJ.

Submitted by: soccerjake

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The Theme of Adolescence in the Book Night by Elie Wiesel

Tragedy seen by a child’s eyes is an approach that is often used in literature in order to emphasize the contrast between the good and the evil, as well as life’s fragility. For Elie Wiesel choosing a perspective of a teenager’s vision of Holocaust horrors is not merely a literary technique, but a terrifying memory of his own life. This is why the theme of adolescence and learning is so closely related to experiences of death and violence.

The main character, Eliezer, comes from Hungary but ethnically he is Jewish, like the author. In fact, he is almost a complete alter-ego of Elie Wiesel, as he tells his personal story making only the minor changes. He belongs to a family where spirituality is an important aspect; and from his early years Eliezer studies Tora. In fact, religious studies are not a punishment for him, like for many children; he takes sincere interest in them and is a true believer of God. At the point when the story takes place, the boy is in his teens. The narration is made in the first person, so the reader cannot see the whole context apart from Eliezer’s perspective, but this makes the story more confessional. Besides, small details elicited from his narration tell the truth about the whole pattern.

Indeed, this picture is horrible. The family of Eliezer has to pass through several circles of hell when moving to its very center. With each step it seems that the situation can be worse, but it appears that hell has different degrees of monstrosity. At first, Eliezer and his family are captured by fascists and deported to Birkenau, which is a passage to Auschwitz. At this point the female and male parts of the family are separated forever, which is only a beginning of a tragedy.  He and his father have to pass through a procedure, which will determine their fate – to live and work or to die. They pass this evaluation but it takes much fear and humiliation imprinted in Eliezer’s teenage soul. Pure and deeply religious, having a genuine trust for the world, he suddenly discovers that his ideals of humanity are undermined, and that God does not see the suffering of his people. “The most important theme in Night is that of theodicy: the struggle to believe in God's justice and goodness when the world created by the Deity is so filled with evil. The boy, Eliezer, lived in a Jewish world, where God was loved and the people were peaceful and good” (Sternlicht, 2003, p. 35). It takes courage and determination to survive physically, but it is much more difficult to keep faith that gives sense to living.

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The story about living in Auschwitz deals much with the good and the evil aspects of the human nature. The degree of cruelty is beyond the limits that a normal human can bear. However, it is not only cruelty of the Nazis that is discussed in the book; the author recollects and explores how violence affects the victims and whether it is contagious. There is no single answer to the question, because people act in different ways.  Many of them realize that mutual care and support is the only way to survive, because humanity is the main feature that distinguishes people from other creatures. However, there are people whose spirit is broken so much that animal instincts of survival switch on leaving all human feelings aside. Such people become violent to their own family members and friends just for the sake of their own living. “The vividly depicted apocalyptic abominations of the Germans, a supposedly civilized people, cause Eliezer and Wiesel to lose faith not only in God's goodness, but also in humankind's capacity for goodness. Most often, they reduce human beings to animal-like savagery as they struggle to save themselves. We are not saints”. (Sternlicht, 2003, p. 36).When watching this, Eliezer gets experience about the world, about different ways that people choose in their existence. He and his father are among those who try to oppose violence, yet the boy discovers that he seems to love his human touch too.

No matter how hard he tries to save his father, he fails to do so and he dies in Buchenwald. This is the final blow to Eliezer, whose faith is broken. His body survives but his soul is empty. This experience has made him an adult very quickly but it destroyed the inner carcass of his relationship with God. The true bond to the essence of existence is lost and the previous communication does not exist any longer. Besides, he takes the relationship between a father and a son as something special, which reflects the idea of God as father. Now only his father is gone, but also an important part of his life.

In conclusion, it is worth saying that the book Night is far from being a typical story of a teenager. The horrors faced by the main character make it impossible for him to think of small problems of adolescence; instead, he has to start thinking about the global values of humanity. In order to survive, he has to go through moral and physical torture, death of his father and break of his intimate bond with God. The author demonstrates that violence gives birth to violence, so staying human is the major challenge for a person.

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