About this sample
About this sample
Words: 610 |
4 min read
Published: Feb 12, 2024
Words: 610|Page: 1|4 min read
Elie Wiesel's novel "Night" provides a poignant and detailed account of his experiences during the Holocaust. The story primarily focuses on Eliezer (Eli) Wiesel and his Jewish family, highlighting the evolution of their relationship from a typical father-son dynamic to a deeply bonded and caring connection. However, this relationship undergoes a drastic transformation as societal norms are reversed, with Eli becoming his father's caretaker (Fine 7).
Initially, the relationship between Shlomo and his son is portrayed as weak. Eli describes his father as cultured but emotionally distant, demonstrating a lack of emotional expression even within the confines of their home (Wiesel 2). This characteristic is presented as a typical masculine trait during that time. Although Eli has a fondness for his father, his strongest bond is with his mother. He questions why his father prioritizes the welfare of others in the community over that of his own family (Wiesel 4). Conflict arises between Eli and his father when Shlomo forbids him from studying the Kabbalah, believing him to be too young. Eli defies his father's wishes and proceeds to learn the Kabbalah with the guidance of Moishe the Beadle.
The father-son relationship undergoes a significant change when Shlomo's family enters the concentration camp at Birkenau. Prior to this, Eli is depicted as an independent individual. However, the separation from his mother and sister leaves him solely with his father in the male section of the camp. Eli's self-reliance diminishes as he becomes increasingly concerned about his father's well-being, especially since they are not housed in the same barrack. The absence of his father elicits strong emotions from Eli, who is unable to ignore his father's predicament (Wiesel 39). The brutal torture inflicted upon Shlomo and other Jewish males by Nazi officers plays a crucial role in the evolution of their relationship. As a small boy, Eli witnesses his father being mercilessly beaten, yet he is powerless to intervene due to his young age and the prevailing circumstances. Another pivotal moment occurs when Eli witnesses Idek, the Kapo, brutally assaulting his father. These traumatic incidents completely alter Eli's perception of his father.
Eli's love and concern for his father are expressed when the Nazis decide to evacuate the camp. He abandons the safety of the medical center and follows his father, fearing separation from him (Wiesel 82). In the subsequent camp, the circumstances lead to a drastic change in the father-son relationship. Shlomo's health deteriorates, and he becomes increasingly reliant on Eli for care (Sibelman 61). Eli takes on the role of his father's caretaker, providing support and attempting to bring comfort amidst the harsh conditions and prolonged torture. However, towards the end of the story, Eli's perspective shifts as he yearns for freedom from his responsibilities. He perceives his father as a hindrance, and upon his father's death, Eli experiences a sense of relief and liberation (Wiesel 124).
In conclusion, Wiesel skillfully portrays the changing dynamics of the father-son relationship under the influence of extreme circumstances. The narrative begins with a typical father-son bond, progresses to a profound love between them, and concludes with Eli assuming the role of caretaker for his father. The Holocaust and the brutalities endured by both father and son serve as catalysts for this transformation.
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