⚡ Elie Wiesel Changes In Night

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 1:39:38 PM

Elie Wiesel Changes In Night

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A scene from Elie Wiesel's novel \

In May , all the Jews in the area were forced into cattle wagons and transported to Auschwitz. The concentration camp there shocks with its brutality and indifference to life, and to visit Auschwitz II-Birkenau — where each of the four crematoria attended to the daily slaughter of several thousand Jews — is to witness the void that remains when man abandons all morality. It is a scene of apocalyptic proportions: grotesque brick chimneys point their sombre fingers to the heavens, whilst all that remains of the majority of the wooden barracks are their ruined foundations.

The rubble of a crematorium cowers under the weight of its own atrocities, and a brittle wind scours the air. The anguish of the past is still snagged on the barbed wire, and a terrible misery stagnates over the camp, its spores infiltrating the hearts of visitors in the 21st century. The desolation is overwhelming. A person's name is subliminally bound up in the fabric of their existence: it tethers them to the past and anticipates their future remembrance.

When seeking to expunge every vestige of Jewish identity from Europe, the Nazis were not content to uproot each and every Jew, rob them of their worldly possessions, shave their hair and clothe them in rags: the ultimate affront to their identity was the replacing of every prisoner's name with a number. This was integral to the Nazis' desire to dehumanise the Jews: a number on a list carries far fewer intimate human connotations than a name.

In Night, Wiesel and the other inmates were "told to roll up our left sleeves and file past the table. The three 'veteran' prisoners, needles in hands, tattooed numbers on our left arms. I became A From then on, I had no other name. Wiesel's prose is quietly measured and economical, for florid exaggeration would not befit this subject. Yet, at times, his descriptions are so striking as to be breathtaking in their pungent precision. He writes through the eyes of an adolescent plunged into an unprecedented moral hinterland, and his loss of innocence is felt keenly by the reader. His identity was strained under such conditions: "The student of Talmud, the child I was, had been consumed by the flames.

All that was left was a shape that resembled me. My soul had been invaded — and devoured — by a black flame. Hunger was an immense force in the camps, eroding identities and sculpting them into different forms; it could compel a man of principle to steal or fight, whilst thoughts of food tormented prisoners' dreams. Wiesel recalled one inmate whose starvation drove him to approach two untended cauldrons of soup on a suicidal mission, which resulted in his being shot by a guard. The victim fell to the floor writhing, "his face stained by the soup. At the time that Night was published, the most popular memoir of the Holocaust was the incredibly important work, The Diary of Anne Frank.

When speaking about Night, Wiesel drew a contrast between the two important works. It was, publishers thought, more suited for public consumption than Night. These personal experiences are moving, but they also allude to the broader nature of theHolocaust and the experiences that millions of Jews and other marginalized groups endured. His story also makes historical places, events, and people real. Today, the Holocaust is almost 80 years in the past, making it incredibly distant, especially for young people learning about it in history books. Night, on the other hand, takes places like Auschwitz and makes them real, in all their terror and destruction.

It is this connection between the present and the past that Wiesel sought to maintain. He knew that the worst thing that could happen now, after the Holocaust was over, the axis powers defeated, and the camps liberated, was that the Holocaust and all those who were lost would be forgotten. He made it one of the central goals of his life to ensure that this fear never becomes a reality and Night, along with his 56 other novels, is one of the most powerful and successful steps he took. The camps will be liberated, Eliezer will be returned to his remaining family members, overwhelmed with a new sense of freedom and relief.

Wiesel sought to depict the lasting influence of the Holocaust on his character of Eliezer, who is a clear extension of himself. Eliezer stands in front of a mirror, seeing himself for the first time since he and his family members were sent to the ghetto and only recognized himself as a corpse. This period of his life is not one that he, or anyone else who went through what he did, is able to shake off in favour of a new one. It became a part of him, one that he carried till his death in This novel is the embodiment of what Wiesel wanted to do with his life after the war, ensuring that no one forgets what happened in Europe during the Second World War.

Home » Elie Wiesel » Night » Review. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Baldwin, Emma. Accessed 9 October Elie Wiesel.

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