The Importance Of Memory In Night By Elie Wiesel, And Maus

1118 Words 5 Pages
Many centuries ago, Marcus Tullius Cicero, a roman philosopher, emphasized that “The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living”, revealing just how important memory is. In Night, by Elie Wiesel, and Maus, by Art Spiegelman, memory serves a very important purpose in telling the stories of the Holocaust. Memory is an innate human ability that provides for a plethora of uses. It is extremely useful in genocide, which is the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially people of a specific ethnic group. When this occurs, the culture and identity of that ethnicity is put in danger of being lost forever. Memory serves in preserving these important cultural ideas and identities. The Holocaust stories of Night and Maus show …show more content…
Elie’s town of Sighet was sheltered from anti-semitism for most of the war. They were unaware of what was occurring in other parts of Europe and were not taken until the early 1940’s. They were completely oblivious, and even when, “the Fascists were already in power... the Jews of Sighet were still smiling” (Wiesel 10). Until the town’s people finally arrived at Auschwitz, they denied any fear of being harmed and reassured themselves they were in no danger, even when they were taken to the ghetto. Most people that suffered during the holocaust feared the Nazis even before being taken. Elie’s story is unique in the sense that despite knowing of the anti-semitic events that were occurring, the people of Sighet worried little. His story provides more depth to the common knowledge of the Holocaust. Without his recorded memories of what happened, the world may never of known about these people that were taken so late into the war, and their perspective. His desire to spread his memories and inform others helps to ensure that great tragedies, such as genocide, will be prevented. Elie’s memory, coupled with his motivational drive to educate the world of the genocide, has led to a more accurate understanding of the Holocaust that will not be forgotten. Along with this understanding, Elie’s father and his father’s struggle will not be forgotten either. Shlomo is the one character that is seen throughout the novel besides Elie himself. He constantly looks after Elie, and even on his deathbed displays this consideration by giving Elie the advice that "it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father” (Wiesel 110). Shlomo survives for nearly the whole time they are captured, and the story of Night depicts Elie’s father as

Related Documents