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Elie Wiesel and His Father in the Novel Night

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The things people do in everyday life can change the outcome of their future. When someone makes a wrong decision, it tends to follow with a consequence. In Elie’s Night, he had to go through procedures that are tremendously painful, and we cannot comprehend the pain and torture these people had to go through. Elie Wiesel, a holocaust survivor, made choices throughout his life that affected his future. In the novel Night, by Elie Wiesel, Elie had made decisions that have impacted his life. Elie Wiesel chose to ignore the actions that were done to his father. A gypsy, showing no mercy, had ‘slapped Elie’s father with such force that he fell down…’.

To elaborate, his father was mistreated, beaten, and been slapped right in front of his very eyes. Before the holocaust, Elie would have defended his father and would have hurt the man who hurt his father. However, this time, he just stood there and watched because he would have gotten killed if he did otherwise. ‘What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked’. This shows that at the time, Elie feared his own life and had realized the Germans achieved the goal of making the Jews into monsters. He would have helped his father, but he understood that if he stepped in, two lives might have been lost. Elie also felt guilty about just watching his father.

Of course, he knew that if he did anything to help his father when he was getting beaten, it would have been tragic. However, the phrase ‘What had happened to me…’ presents the idea that he felt he was a monster for not helping his poor father. Eliezer also made the decision to ignore God and stop praising His name. ‘Why should I sanctify his name? What was there to thank him for?’ To elaborate, the father was praising God saying to celebrate his name, but Elie disagreed and refused to rejoice and celebrate His name. All of the people are living in this terrible situation, but these two have different perspectives about it. The father chooses to praise and thank God for His doings, while Elie wonders why they should celebrate Him for putting them in this deathly situation.

This continues to happen throughout the novel, and Elie continues to be frustrated at God. ‘Why but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because he caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves?’ Terrible things have continued to happen to Elie and his father such as torture, death threats, and violence. Because God has not taken them out of this situation, Eliezer wants and decides to stop praising Him because of the torturous life they are living in. A last example of this would be when Elie finally comes to the conclusion in his head that man is stronger than God himself. ‘I felt myself to be stronger than this Almighty to whom my life had been bound for so long.’ Eleizer did still have little hope that maybe God would help them, give them mercy, and remove them from the deathly torture, however, once he realized God wasn’t going to do anything, he gave up on Him. Because he thinks God is not present, Eliezer thinks that man can do more than God himself because man is showing actions to try and remove them out of the holocaust. However, God is not present and not with them. Eliezer has made decisions to give or not give up certain things.

One of his assistants tells Eliezer that, in exchange for his shoes, he will make sure Eliezer gets into a good labor unit. He refuses to part with his shoes. Furthermore, Elie had to make a decision whether to keep his shoes or let them go. If he had chosen to give them away, he could have died by walking in the snow, or just doing work in general. This choice affected his life because he would not be able to do the long march in the snow or do most work and labor without his shoes. There was one circumstance in the novel, however, where Eliezer had to give up something valuable. To elaborate, the German officers wanted everyone’s gold tooth (if they had one) to gain extra money to pay off the expenses for the holocaust. Elie did not want to give up his gold tooth so he postponed his appointments saying that he was feeling sick and could not attend. Later, Franek, the foreman, decides he wants Eliezer’s gold crown and did not wait. Eliezer won’t give it to him. Franek discovers Eliezer’s weakness which is his father.

Therefore, Franek begins to torment Eliezer’s father during their marches. At last, Eliezer gives in and his tooth is extracted. Eliezer could have chosen to keep the gold tooth, and let his father be beaten. But because of the love for his father, he lets them have his gold tooth, so his father doesn’t have to go through the pain of being hurt. Elie’s love for his father overrides every situation, and it makes every decision for him. Elie made a decision to pass on his family inheritance. As they waved goodbye, Elie’s father gave him a knife and a spoon which was the family inheritance. Eliezer doesn’t want to take them because he doesn’t want to think of the fact that his father might have been selected. But finally, he takes them and leaves with the construction group. Because his father could have been selected to have gotten killed by the Nazi’s, Elie didn’t want to admit that.

Therefore, he did not want to take the inheritance that would make him think about the passing of his father. However, he took the knife and spoon, just like his father would have wanted him too. He could have not taken it, his father would have died, and the tradition would have stopped and not have been passed on. In the novel Night, by Elie Wiesel, Elie made decisions that impacted his life. Some of these include the decision to ignore God, such as Elie’s belief that God didn’t help him get through the Holocaust. Elie stopped trusting God because he felt that God was not helping him. Ellie Also gave up valuable things such as his shoes and his gold tooth. Lastly, Elie stop doing things he would normally do; when he didn’t defend his father because he was too afraid of the German officers. Because of the fear that the Nazi’s instilled into Elie and many others, they had essentially controlled Elie into making life or death decisions. If Elie had made other decisions his life could have been different. His life was determined by his daily decisions that were a huge part of his life.

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Elie Wiesel And His Father In The Novel Night. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/elie-wiesel-and-his-father-in-the-novel-night/
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