Night (Elie Wiesel)

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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The novel Night is about the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler's diabolical "Final Solution," or plan to eliminate all "impure" races, and a young boy's struggle to avoid becoming one of six million fellow jews killed. The Holocaust began in 1939, early in World War II, and by its end in 1945, 11 million jews, invalids, homosexuals, misfits, and other "impurites" from all over Europe had their lives extinguished in Nazi death camps. All this due to Hitler's obsession, his "Final Solution." Although this solution was final, many were spared, including Elie Wiesel, the 15 year old protagonist of of Night. Elie survives the Holocaust through a battle of conscience: first believing whole heartedly in God, then resisting that faith, and finally reclaiming his faith in God.

Elie is a strong believer of god and dedicates much of his time to praying and studying the wisdom of the Cabbala.

So dedicated to his religion is Elie that when questioned, "why do you pray?" he dismisses it as a "strange question" and compares praying to "liv[ing]" and "breath[ing]." For Elie, praying is a fundamental part of life. In the spring of 1944, Elie is deported from his home town of Sighet, but he remains faithful to god and "want[s] time to pray before" he is "expelled" from Sighet even though he has been treated so poorly and unfairly by god's "infinite and wonderful universe." Elie is determined to "never lose faith, even when the" nazi "sword" of annihilation "hangs over [his] head." Trying his best, Elie retains his faith in god through the dreadful experiences of the death camps, and it keeps him alive, but he cannot hold out forever.

As the horrors of the holocaust start to sink in, Elie slowly begins resisting his stubborn faith in god, and...