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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Critical Analysis Essay of Night by Elie Wiesel

Research Paper on Night by Elie Wiesel

Storytelling is a vital component of human memory. It embodies and reflects the memories of life that make the person that we are. The people, events, and moments incorporated in each of our stories prove the existence of that memory in our lives. Elie Wiesel proved the power of storytelling by writing the traumatizing yet perspective-changing book, Night (1960). He used storytelling to illustrate the morbid story of the so-called Holocaust.

In Night (1960), Wiesel tells the story about Jewish fate.  In this book, he gives a first person account of what really happened inside the concentration camp.  The violence and the unimaginable treatment imposed against the Jews were vividly described.  He also tells the impact of the death camps on the relationship among the Jews people – how it destroyed life.  

At the same time, he also tells the tales of heroism of the Jewish people. They are considered heroes because they peacefully accepted their fate inside the concentration camps which was very difficult.  In fact, accepting one’s death is even more difficult than taking a gun and shooting somebody on the head. 

A young Jew named Zalman, during a march to their next camp, tramples onto the ground and dies under the marching feet of those who strive to survive. (Wiesel, p. 86) The torture that Zalman faced before his death embodies the anguish and misery all of the Jews had to go through in the hands of the Germans. This young life extinguished in such an unfortunate event symbolizes the young and vibrant lives of the Jewish youth that vanished into the endless night. The author uses a single story to signify the much bigger picture of the Jewish genocide to impress the memory of that event into the current generation. The little events that make up his whole book is used as a tool to allow the generations after Elie’s to know and remember the horrifying Holocaust.  

What is most interesting is that he did not only emphasize the suffering experienced by the Jews in the hands of the Nazis but even in the hands of their fellow Jews who were given positions of authority by the Nazis inside the concentration camps.

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The main goal of the Nazis is to extinguish the Jews and obliterate their existence. Though the Nazis take it to the most extreme extent of extermination, they still fail to carry out their goal. Jews like Elie are able to survive their morbidity and strive to regain the power and freedom they once had. Their own republic, Israel, is a living proof of the Jews’ success to flourish their culture and allow it to come to existence again, contrary to the Germans’ goal. The Jews’ perseverance and pursuit for life is clearly evident despite the terrifying attempts of their extinction.

The incorporation of real people in the story allows its readers to capture that memory and have in their minds. Added to this, the reality exposed in the book allows the audience to realize the courage and perseverance of the Jews from then till now. Ultimately, the traumatic and inhumane acts the author illustrated in the book serve as a warning to the readers of how cruel and horrifying human beings can be. The stated reasons strike through broader and significant topics that allot a place for the genocide in human history and into the subconscious knowledge of today’s people.

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