Is Night Appropriate for High School Students?
By: Max Budano
"To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time." That is a quote by Elie Wiesel, author of Night. These days, kids are more caught up with video games and hanging out with friends to pick up a book and read, so why should parents and teachers restrict them from reading books as important as Night? Why should these parents and teachers feel the need to restrict teens from reading about the dark past so that events like the Holocaust aren't forgotten? Seniors are usually 17 to 18 years old, that's old enough to be drafted and sent in to combat and kill people, and people are trying to argue that this book is too graphic. How can you expect history to keep itself from repeating if you aren't teaching the new generation the past? No matter how graphic the book is, it needs to be taught to prevent holocaust-like events from occurring in the future.
Night is a very important read for today's and future generations mainly (as we know by now) to teach others of the dark history in order to prevent it from happening again. Not only that though, but it is a great book for students to learn more about life beyond the borders of where they live. America is generally a very easy place to grow up in compared to other countries, and too often do people grow up thinking that most cultures are as easy-going and pleasant as most of the United States. Reading Night can truly show people other societies and cultures, which is very important. Reading Wiesel's Night truly shows only a fraction of how brutal the Holocaust must have been to actually watch for the Jewish people which is essential for students to know throughout their lives because they need to understand these things happen, and are happening. The only people who can contribute to stopping genocides are the new generations.
Elie Wiesel's purpose for writing the book was because he knew somebody needed to take the role as a witness for the Holocaust, as he knew that it "would be judged one day" (as stated in the introduction of the book). But why be a witness? Why is it so important for Elie to say "yes I experienced the Holocaust", what is that going to do? Well Elie states in his book's introduction that he is a witness in hopes to spread and continue spreading what occured in the holocaust to the youth so that events like this don't happen again and so that we don't forget so the dead won't be "killing them a second time."
I strongly agree with Elie's claim about not being silent so that terrible things such as the Holocaust (and other genocides) cannot occur again in the future. After learning about the destruction to not only the Jewish population, but the Jewish culture, I was petrified, and I'm sure others were to. To take a society and just to crush it in your palm as Hitler did is horrible, and it is beyond important to teach teens about the events that happened. The book is graphic, yes, and a handful of parents are bothered by it, and do not want their children reading it, but restricting your children to only seeing the good in life will make seeing the bad things very hard on them (and experiencing them worse), and restricting your child from learning one of the most significant events in history is serving those who caused the event by being silent about the situation. Those parents out there need to do the world a favor and let their children learn the history that may not be forgotten without consequences.
To conclude, Night is a very important for our generation and generations to come to read. The book teaches teens the importance of not being silent about bad things, and shows them the horrible things that occured in the past and are still occuring today. Showing kids the dark past is frowned upon to some, but showing them the dark past is what will help preventing those things in the future. Elie Wiesel states "To forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time", and by saying this of course he is mainly talking about the Holocaust and how forgetting it would be doing those who caused it a service and would be risking genocides and other horrible events occuring in the future. I could not agree more with Wiesel when he says not to keep things silent and to speak out and show the world what it needs to see.
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