Night By Elie Wiesel Reflection Essay

Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author of Night, once said, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Wiesel, throughout his memoir Night, narrates his experience as a young Jewish boy during the Holocaust. He delves into how the captured Jews are enslaved in concentration camps and faced with the absolute worst forms of torture and abuse. In Night, Wiesel explores how the complete absence of social justice leads to mutations in a person’s character and morality. Using character, plot, and symbolism, Wiesel warns the reader that lack of justice can lead to grave outcomes.
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Wiesel uses characters to portray and develop the theme
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Within months, though, Elie loses much of his family and witnesses the atrocities of the concentration camps. This is evident when he says, “I pinched myself: Was I still alive? Was I awake? How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned and that the world kept silent? No. All this would not be real. A nightmare perhaps...” (Wiesel 32). Despite actually witnessing it with his own eyes, the violence is so extreme that Elie struggles to believe it could possibly be real. So much of what he sees is incomprehensible. Elie confronts the worst in humanity. Being placed in such situations opens his eyes to the dangers that lack of justice can bring about. In this case, humans fail to uphold justice and the result is the murder of millions of innocent lives. Moreover, another character that Elie uses, other than himself, to depict the theme of justice is the nameless son, in the cattle cars from Gleiwitz to Buchenwald, who beats his father to death for a crust of bread. Stunned by the …show more content…
Elie’s relationship with his father changes throughout his stay in the camps. As his father becomes weak, Elie begins to think of his father as a burden limiting his own chances of survival. This is evident when he says, “Unfortunately, Franek knew how to handle this; he knew my weak spot.” (Wiesel 55). Elie refers to his father as his “weak spot.” He begins to view love as weakness, which shows the extent of the change in his personality. In the world of the concentration camp, attachment to family can be a liability. Lack of justice turns father against son and son against father. Elie is forced to confront this new reality and try to come to terms with it. Moreover, Elie’s recounting of Akiba Drumer’s story further explores the theme of justice in his memoir. Akiba starts off as a strong believer in God and in his religion, but over the course of his stay in the concentration camps, his whole perspective and priorities change. This is evident when Elie narrates that “Akiba Drummer has left us [the prisoners], a victim of the selection...He just kept repeating that it was all over for him, that he could no longer fight, he had no more strength, no more faith.” (Wiesel 76). This illustrates the effect that lack of justice has on a person’s faith. It is not only Elie who loses his faith in the concentration camps, but other long-time believers as well.

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