Night By Elie Wiesel And The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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People will do anything and everything it takes to survive, and when confronted with a traumatic situation, people begin to think more about their own safety than the safety of others. With the approach of first-person narratives in both Night by Elie Wiesel and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the reader can hear about and recount the events as they happened from the individual’s perspectives the way that those individuals experienced the events. In Night, where Elie recounts his experiences as a survivor of the Holocaust and a prisoner in multiple concentration camps, and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, where Tim recounts his traumatic and life-changing time as a soldier in the Vietnam war, the reader is able to see events …show more content…
In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the reader sees how Tim’s perspective on life and experiences changes during his time in the war. It is shown that the rules and expectations Tim abided by before the war were very different than the rules and expectations Tim’s superiors had for him during his time serving in the war. As Tim says, “The old rules are no longer binding, the old truths no longer true. Right spills over into wrong.” (O’Brien, 78). When hearing of Tim’s war experience and certain things he did, such as running away from potentially saving his dying friend in order to preserve his own safety, readers can see that the way Tim was expected to react in a war situation is very different than the way he would have been expected to react in a similar situation before the war. He says that “The distinction between good guys and bad guys disappeared…” (60), and this lack of distinction causes some of the seemingly regrettable actions that Tim commits every day that he serves in the Vietnam war. These quotations lead the readers to see the state of despair and helplessness looming upon Tim at …show more content…
At one point in the text, Wiesel witnessed the deterioration of a fellow prisoner of the camp during the long run the prisoners partook in on their way from one concentration camp to another. When Wiesel recounts his encounter with this man, he says that “I soon forgot him. I began to think of myself again.” (Wiesel, 86). Based on the traumatic experience of living and working in a concentration camp, prisoners saw the horrific ways people were treated when they stood up for others and for themselves. Prisoners in the concentration camp began to think of protecting only themselves in order to protect themselves. During the prisoners’ march from one camp to another, the prisoners all start to run. One father-son pair were running, and the father later couldn’t find his son. Elie later recounts that “...his son had seen him losing ground… he had continued to run in front, letting the distance between them become greater.” (Wiesel, 90). When reading this passage, the reader can see in their mind the son running past the fallen father, and that emphasizes for the reader the urgency for survival in this situation. Even the bond of family relationships were broken and forgotten because of the traumatic experiences and events that occurred in the concentration camps. Readers even see this

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