The Jewish Holocaust Novel ‘Night’ by Eliezer Wiesel Essay
‘Night’, a Jewish holocaust novel authored by Eliezer Wiesel, presents the impression of a dark tale that is experienced by the author, who describes his first-hand ordeal with the Nazis. In my opinion, there exists no suitable vocabulary word to provide an appropriate title for the holocaust of the Jews. At such a time in history, the oppressors had forgotten human nature, but the family spirit of those being oppressed was not distorted. Instead, it was made stronger.
Although the Eliezer’s people were devoured in anguish and pain, they did not seem to forget God’s presence in their hearts. This situation made some of the Jews to push on with the inhuman life under the hands of the Nazis. However, some Jews felt that God had forgotten them. Being Jews who are considered as strictly religious community, they started blaming Him for abandoning them in times of need. It reached a point where Eliezer had to trust and seek protection from his father than God Himself.
The Relationship between Eliezer and His Father
Eliezer’s relationship with his father has been variously highlighted in the novel, ‘Night’. In the beginning, he looked up to his father as a role model since he was highly regarded as a Jew elder. He was a consultant to issues that pertained to the Jewish community. This situation made Eliezer to look up to him even though he was too involved with the welfare of the Sighet Jewish Community and not with his own family (Wiesel 43). Generally, Eliezer admired the fact that his father was prayerful and he kept his utmost faith in God even in the time of oppression.
During the separation of women and men in Birkenau, Auschwitz, Eliezer decided to stay with his father. He was separated from his mother and sisters. Eliezer’s love and affection towards his father grew stronger since they were experiencing the torture and pain of being war prisoners together.
When the German oppressors moved Eliezer and his community to Buna camp from Auschwitz, he was selected to work at the electrical warehouse and he asked for permission to work closely to his father, which he was granted. However, ‘he was angry with his father for not avoiding the wrath of the official and doing his work efficiently as told’ (Wiesel 67). At one moment, he decided to teach his father how to march when he became hesitant to the commands of the German officials.
The relationship between Eliezer and his father started to soar since he had begun to become rebellious to both God and his father. This state of affairs was after Eliezer became reluctant to fast during the period of The Day of Atonement even after his father advised him to remain strong in faith during the trying times. Eliezer ‘accused God for letting him and his people experience hell on earth under His watch’ (Wiesel 92).
However, when the time to select and burn weak people in the cylinder came, Eliezer was always worried about his father and wondered if he would be able to pass the test that was set by the German medical officials. He got so disconcerted and vexed because his father was asked to remain behind by the officials since he did not have the required qualifications to work. He was rendered ineffective. Eliezer could not imagine separating with his father after all this far they had come together, so they decided to continue with their journey even before his father recovered.
It had reached the time to leave Buna and so, the Germans ordered the Jew war prisoners to evacuate. At this time, Eliezer realized the sole purpose of being alive was to support his father and be his keeper. They kept together at all times and soldiered on the harsh conditions and possibility of death at any given time. However, his father had been in a state of fever for several weeks and his condition was worsening day to day. Eliezer kept by his side throughout the ordeal without giving up on him.
Nevertheless, the fact remained that he was soon going to die since he was having dysentery and the doctors were not willing to save his life. This situation compelled Eliezer to become ‘open-minded about the situation and was ready for anything that came by his way’ (Wiesel 102). Presumably, when his father was cremated alive, Eliezer did not cry since he knew he had been through a lot of exploitation and he was now in peaceful eternally.
In conclusion, the relationship between the father and son in the ‘Night’ novel has remained sturdy and the difference in opinion at first did not deter them from going through the ordeal together. This bond between them ensured that they endured many hard situations to reach to such great lengths in the struggle of oppression.
They show us how the people struggled and what other men went through during the Jewish Holocaust; hence, they express the feelings of others who were in the same conditions. In my opinion, intrinsic love and affection that existed between Eliezer and his father kept their father-son relationship alive throughout the Jewish Holocaust.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. Argentina: Hill and Wang, 2006. Print.
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