How does Elie’s Father Die in “Night”?

Updated 28 August, 2023
Elie's father dies in "Night" due to a combination of physical exhaustion, starvation, and brutal treatment endured during the Holocaust. His health deteriorates significantly in the concentration camps, and he ultimately succumbs to dysentery and weakness, dying in his bunk while Elie is asleep.
Detailed answer:

Elie Wiesel's memoir "Night" recounts his harrowing experiences during the Holocaust, including the tragic death of his father. Elie's father dies due to a combination of brutal conditions, starvation, and illness that were pervasive in the concentration camps.

Throughout the memoir, Elie and his father face extreme physical and emotional hardships as they struggle to survive in the face of Nazi oppression. Their health deteriorates as they endure forced labor, malnutrition, and inhumane treatment. Elie's father, weakened by these conditions, is particularly susceptible to illnesses that spread rapidly in the unsanitary and overcrowded camp environment.

In the Buchenwald concentration camp, Elie's father becomes increasingly ill with dysentery. Elie desperately tries to care for him, sharing his own meager rations and attempting to protect him from the cruelty of the camp. However, despite Elie's efforts, his father's health continues to decline. Elie describes the moment of his father's death in stark terms: "My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent." This illustrates the brutality of the camp environment and the numbing effect it has on the prisoners.

Elie's father dies in the bunk next to him while Elie is asleep. This scene is poignant and tragic, symbolizing the stark reality of death's sudden arrival even amidst the darkness and suffering of the camps. Elie's feelings of guilt and sorrow for not being able to save his father haunt him, showcasing the emotional burden he carries.

In conclusion, Elie's father dies in "Night" due to a combination of physical exhaustion, starvation, and the dehumanizing conditions of the concentration camps. His deterioration from dysentery and weakness illustrates the devastating toll of the Holocaust on individuals and families. Elie's portrayal of his father's death serves as a poignant reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and the profound impact it had on those who survived.

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