A Reflection Paper on Night by Elie Wiesel

Essay by palmtree96High School, 12th gradeA+, November 2014

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Night, an autobiography by Eliezer Weisel, recounts his experience of being a Jew in the Holocaust during the early 1840's. The story explores the escalation of fear in the Jews and its overriding presence in their lives, Eliezer's crisis of faith, and the loss of humanity in the Jewish people including the numerous images of death put forth in the book. Weisel portrays their fears in ways we could never dream of and makes us look at how people are affected spiritually in the wake of dehumanizing suffering. Also, he portrays in the story how the Jews were stripped of everything in the Holocaust including their human dignity and self worth.

The escalation of fear is a common thread throughout this book. In the beginning, when all foreign Jews were expelled from their town of Sighet, the remaining Jews pretended that those exported were better off wherever they were now.

Then, when Moishe the Beadle (an exported Jewish foreigner) returned to Sighet one day and told the Jews how he had escaped by pretending he had been killed along with the others, he was titled as a madman who only wanted their pity. The Jews refused to even listen to Moishe the Beadle let alone accept anything he said as the truth. The Jews lived in denial and in a state of pretending up until the point in which they were transported and brought to the concentration camp at Birkenau. At that point fear became real in the eyes of the Jews for they saw for themselves the flames from the crematorium and the smell of burning flesh. From then on fear guided their every waking moment for it enveloped their common sense and being. It began to control them and it made them act in unimaginable ways. Eliezer feared...