The Themes Of Inhumanity In Night, By Elie Wiesel

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The book Night, by Elie Wiesel, is an autobiography of the author’s experiences in the Holocaust, particularly the brutality and inhumanity found in concentration camps. To help convey the severity of the situation, Wiesel uses irony. Throughout Night, the author portrays irony to express the obliviousness Jews possessed during the Holocaust and emphasize how the concentration camps affect prisoners not only physically, but also mentally.

In many situations, the Jews had false hope and were too blind to predict the atrocities that would be forced upon them. Everything started when the Jews were forced to wear yellow stars to openly showcase their religion. They did not sense the implications this showed, Wiesel’s father saying “‘The yellow
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Before Auschwitz, Elie was very religious, determined to know everything about his religion, even begging his father to teach him advanced material such as Kabbalah. When asked why he prayed, he responded, “Why did I pray? Strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breath?” (page 4). Religion is as important to Elie as life, as the air he breathes, which is ironic because in concentration camps he is forced to rely on that air and on his life, but cannot depend on his religion. Elie’s belief in God wavers as he is faced with brutality and savagery and sees others subject to such inhumanity that he wonders why God has not saved his people yet. After witnessing the hanging of the little angel pipel, he is angry with God, …show more content…
In Auschwitz, his only goal was to always stay with his father, starting during the very first selection. When they were sorted into the same line, they felt joy that they would remain together until another inmate chimes in, “‘Satisfied?’ ‘Yes’ someone answered. ‘Poor devils, you are heading for the crematorium’” (page 32). Although this wasn’t Elie’s decision, the connection with his father blinds him from the individual consequences they choose to face together. Later, when Elie’s foot has just been operated on and the camp is forced into a death march. Father and son make their decision to stay or leave together, even if it is in each other’s best interest to part. His father remains silent and Elie decides, “Let’s be evacuated with the others” (page 82). They disembark on a deadly journey, one they could have avoided if they had stayed because they would have been liberated two days later. Elie constantly puts his father’s survival before his own, jeopardizing his own life to do so, and later proving to be in vain because of his father’s death. His concern of his father leaves Elie blind to the consequences of their actions. The use of irony in Night shows how unaware the Jews were of their situation and how concentration camps left prisoners mentally vulnerable.

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