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Night Essay

Essay by   •  December 13, 2010  •  1,195 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,281 Views

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"An angry man is unfit to pray." Hitler and the Nazi party began to exterminate the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and any one not the Aryan race. Hitler and his followers began creating Concentration Camps in which they killed off many Jews. Elie the main character in the book Night written by Elie Wiesel was put in and survived his share of these death factories. Elie, his father, his mother, and his little sister were all crated up like cattle and sent to Birkenau, the reception center for Auschwitz. Upon arrival Elie watched his mother and sister walk towards their death in the crematorium. Left with only his father, his faith beginning to parish like an apple that fell from the tree, Elie managed to survive the brutality of the camps. After much suffering and the pure evil taking place Elie lost his faith in God, the acclaimed almighty.

When Elie is first introduced his faith is strong and integral. He spent most of his time in prayer, and believed deeply in God. "I was twelve. I believed profoundly" (Wiesel 1). Elie demands this; he proclaims it not just to the reader but also to God. He wants you to know that his faith is strong enough to declare from the top of the mountain side so everyone can hear. Elie believed in God as his one true God, the almighty God ruling with an iron fist. Twelve years old and he would pray as much as he could, he desired to learn the teachings of the Zohar, the cabbalistic books.

Elie turned to Moshe the Beadle. Moshe questioned Elie; he made him think about his faith and about his dedication. "Why do you weep when you pray...?" (2). Elie is very offended after Moshe asks him this one night in the synagogue. He does not know, he cannot answer this. He knows that inside him he weeps because deep down he feels like he should. Moshe then asks Elie "Why do you pray?" (2) This question disturbed Elie even more; why did he pray? To him that was his life. "Why did I pray? A strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe?"(2). What would he be without prayer, without God? Elie answered Moshe that he did not know. He knew that he wanted to learn the teachings of the cabbala; he knew that he believed in God deeply. He was just very young, maybe too young.

Leading into the middle of the novel, Elie's faith starts to deteriorate. Elie and his family were packed up like livestock and sent to Birkenau, the reception center for Auschwitz. One night Elie was in camp, one night was enough to rob him of his faith. "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never" (32). Elie describes to us how he feels his first night at camp, what he saw and how he feels. He says that his life had been turned into one long night. Symbolizing the missing presence of God, telling us that his faith is dead. With losing his faith, he starts to disrespect his father. "What is more, any anger I felt at that moment was directed, not against the Kapo, but against my father. I was angry with him, for not knowing how to avoid Idek's outbreaks" (52). Elie is now disobeying one of the Ten Commandments by being disloyal and angry at his father.

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