Night

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade October 2001

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Night, is a book by Elie Wiesel that describes the horror that the Jewish people had to live through in the concentration camps during the second world war. Night proves Freud's claim that a culture needs scapegoats, unity, and aim-inhibited love to prosper. To succeed the nazis needed to find scapegoats, someone to blame all their problems on. They felt aim-inhibited love toward the Jews. The hatred for the Jews was much greater then the competition within the nazis. That hatred and the aim-inhibited love hence unified the nazi people, they could now all hate someone. The hatred was so great that the Jewish people were executed just to unify the nazis.

Freud says that every society has scapegoats for the sole purpose of accusing them for the problems that come up in that society. Instead of fixing a problem, a group of people would rather blame it on someone else.

In Night the nazis blamed Jews for all their problems, and decided that executing the Jewish people would solve all their problems. People are considered scapegoats because they are thought off as different. Freud says that all people think that "My love is valued by all my own people as a sign of my preferring them, and it is an injustice to them if I put a stranger (someone different) on a par with them." (pp256) Since nazis thought that the Jews were different and did not want to "put them on a par with themselves" it was decided that the Jewish people would be the scapegoats. Freud also states "I must honestly confess that he (the stranger) has more claim to my hostility and even my hatred." (pp256) Due to the fact that Jews were considered different they were hated. Every society has scapegoats to blame their problems on; however the nazis slaughter millions and millions of Jews because they thought it would solve their problems.

The nazis experienced aim-inhibited love toward the Jews. The nazis found a common enemy which united them in a feeling of non-sexual attraction. Freud says a person's neighbor "is some one who temps them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work with out compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him." (pp 256). The inhumanity in Night binds the nazis together with out sexual feelings. The nazis used this aim-inhibited love on the Jews. Nazis took out all their aggression on the Jews by putting them in the concentration camps. They used Jews as slaves for grueling work. They raped and physically abused women and even little girls. The nazis took all of the belongings that the Jewish people had. They hurt the Jews, they tortured the Jews and they killed millions and millions of Jews. All the horror that was done by the nazis proves Freud's claim about aim-inhibited love.

Both scapegoats and aim-inhibited love, for some sick reason, unites people. Something has to unite a group of people, and sometimes that union is achieved by hatred of others. Freud says "it's always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness." (pp258) In the Holocaust the nazis were binding while the Jews were left over to endure their violence. The Jews were the ill-fated ones who all the anger was taken out on.

The crises in Night were identical to Freud's claims about unity, scapegoats and aim-inhibited love. The nazis wanted to destroy all the Jewish people, because they thought it would solve their problems. The problem is that if all the Jews were killed who would be next? The nazis would have to find the next scapegoat, then the next, then the next. It is very upsetting to know that one society can prosper and unite on the suffering, torment and agony of another.