Identity In Night By Elie Wiesel

1266 Words 6 Pages
One, having experienced a devastating situation, such as war, might relate to the idea that “it’s no good at all to see yourself and not recognize your face. Out on my own, it’s such a scary place” (Efron). Throughout life there are times when we no longer recognize ourselves. One’s identity is more than just physical appearance. In Night by Elie Wiesel, we can see that war not only physically changes a person, but it also shakes a person’s faith, weakens relationships, and loosens his morals; he no longer remembers who he is, who he loves, or in what he believes—he only focuses on survival.
Elie Wiesel begins his memoir as a young faithful Jew: “I was almost thirteen and deeply observant. By day I studied Talmud and by night I would run
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In Night, the effects are especially prevalent in father-son relationships. One example of this is the change in relationship between Rabbi Eliahu and his son. Rabbi Eliahu and his son endured the harshness of the concentration camps together for three years. However, his son leaves him behind during the march from Buna to Gleiwitz because he sees him as “a burden that could diminish his own chance for survival” (91). Elie then prays to a God in whom he no longer believes to grant him the strength to never abandon his father like Rabbi Eliahu’s son did. However, the question of whether or not he will betray his father for his own survival conflicts Elie. Elie and his father are separated at Buchenwald, and Elie begins to hope that he will not find his father. He thinks to himself, “If only I were relieved of this responsibility, I could use all my strength to fight for my own survival, to take care of only myself…Instantly, I felt ashamed, ashamed of myself” (106). Later, Elie gives what is left of his soup to his father, but when he realizes that he is doing so reluctantly, he believes that “just like Rabbi Eliahu’s son, [he] had not passed the test” (107). After his father dies, Elie’s introspection reveals that he feels a sense of relief and that he is “free at last” (112) from the burden of taking care of his father. The Blockälteste gives Elie this advice: “In this place it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father. In this place there is no such thing as a father, brother, friend. Each of us lives and dies alone” (110). This desperation for survival not only affects relationships between loved ones, but also affects how one treats other humans in

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