Conflict In Night By Elie Wiesel

Decent Essays
The Father Lantom, in response to Matt Murdock’s confession that he had the Devil inside him, said, “Maybe you’re being called to summon the better angels of your nature. Maybe that’s the struggle you’re feeling”(“The”). The struggle between the side of the angels and the side of the devils may commonly be felt as one reads about the horrors of the Holocaust. Among these accounts is the story of Elie Wiesel, a young Romanian teenager who, along with his father, suffered through the concentration camps of the Nazi party. As Elie illustrates through his personal story, “Night”, selfish need triumphs over selfless tendencies during hardships, seen in his increasing callousness towards others and his internal battle between helping his father and …show more content…
Upon arriving at Buna camp, Elie strives to end up in the same work group as his father, pleading to the foreman, “I’d like to be near my father,” showcasing an affection for and desire to protect him even beyond what he might have needed (Wiesel 50). However, as the Kapo, or leader, of their work group beats his father in irrational rage, Elie remarks that “if I felt anger at that moment, it was not directed at the Kapo but at my father” and that he wanted his father to have kept a lower profile to Elie’s benefit (Wiesel 54). This demonstrates that as Elie continued through the concentration camps, he became more concerned with his own well-being than his father. Later in the book, seen particularly poignantly as Elie and his father run to another camp as mentioned before. During this time, Elie displays a struggle within himself as to whether he should be good and selfless towards his father or bad and selfish. For example, he at one point registers that he “soon forgot him. I began to think of myself again”, demonstrating that his own need to survive took precedence over helping others (Wiesel 86). Just pagers later though, after witnessing another son abandon his father, prays for God to “give me the strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahu’s son has done “ (Wiesel 91). It is thus seen here that he is not fully a slave to his own needs and endeavors to care for his father. This struggle he has with himself is later won by his selfish need despite this shining moment, giving credence to the idea that need wins over selflessness. That victory is seen most vividly in Elie’s interactions with his father as Shlomo dies, where even as he cares for his health, Elie thinks that if his father died, he would be “relieved of this responsibility” (Wiesel 106). His choice of the word “relieved” implies that a certain weight would be lifted from him, making his own

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