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Nov 8, 2017 in Book Report
The Review of Night by Elie Wiesel
Night is arguably one of the most educative books when it comes to a firsthand study on the subject of the Holocaust. It is due to the graphic description of the events that occurred during that time provided by the author. The book is a first person narrative from the point of view of Elie, retelling the story from start to finish. He displays his professional writing skills by holding readers’ attention through a precise description of occurrences and the effect that they had on his young mind and heart.
The Holocaust may be easily described as one of the most inhumane events that have ever happened in the twentieth century. It was one of the darkest periods for the Jewish community, when close to two third of all Jews residing in Europe were brutally tortured and murdered just because they were such. The Nazis exterminated them, as if they were pests in concentration camps, such as the one, where Elie Wiesel was, when the story first unfolded.
Elie Wiesel starts this heart-breaking tale by introducing the place, where he was held together with his father, awaiting for their gruesome murder by German soldiers. It was in this Auschwitz concentration camp that the largest number of Jews met their end. He narrated how he had spent time mourning over the destruction of the temple, and how, in his own strange way, he saw this as a premonition of the doom that was coming together with the dark times that had befallen the world.
As a narrator, Elie tells the story first-hand, expounding unfolding events as a person, who had actually experienced them himself. He told about his escape, when they were being transported from Hungary to Poland, after the government had decided to deport anyone, whose citizenship could not be established. However, the train was captured by the German police, and what followed was the epitome of an extreme human behavior.
They were driven to the forest, where they were forced to dig their own graves and present themselves for execution, each at his hole. According to Elie, babies were thrown up, and machine gun handlers sprayed ammunition on them as part of the target practice. It is one instance, when human beings behave worse than animals. To properly illustrate the suffering that they went through, he included specific examples of Tobias and Malka, a young girl, who painfully met their deaths. The former had his children being forced to witness his execution, agonizing for hours before dying from three-day-old bullet wounds.
Throughout the novel, one can feel the pain that the author went through, having spent time in the concentration camp with his family. He described how his father was tortured to death, just before they were liberated from the Germans by the United States Army. By using the first person voice, Elie ensured that readers could put themselves in his shoes and paint the picture of what he went through in their minds. The intention of the book is to ensure that the events are imprinted in the reader’s mind and will never be forgotten. Night serves as a constant reminder of the place, from where humans and especially Jews in particular have come. The effects of the war and racism are evident in this account, and the author shows how destructive human beings can be to each other, if they do not do away with such mindsets.
Upon arrival, men and women in the cattle wagon were separated from each other. Elie and his father were separated from his mother and sisters. Later, he came to discover that most of those from the other group were driven straight to gas chambers, where they were killed. The meaning of life and family became lost for the young boy, who was stuck to his father. He began to get tired of constantly taking care of his father. The latter became a liability. Elie was worried about his own survival, and was forced to constantly keep watch over his father as well.
He told of many incidences, when he had come near death and merely survived by luck. One such time was when he and his father were to be deposited in a pit of fire. He mentioned a lorry full of children that came by and deposited its load into the flame. Elie also told of his father’s dysentery that was a result of lurid living conditions, and how the latter was beaten up by some men. Beatings in these camps were the order of the day, and their severity could hardly be underestimated, knowing that they finally took away his father’s life.
The main strength of the book is the fact that the reader can visualize the experiences of the writer. By making sure that those events will be never forgotten, the repeat of the same can be prevented in the future. The fact that the narrator tells the story in the first person singular allows him to carry the reader’s mind with him to show things as he sees them and feels. Elie describes his emotions in such a way that it is impossible for the reader not to see the gravity of the situation.
Elie tells a painful story, one that comes from the bottom of his heart. It is hard to doubt that the events described in his book that may not have actually happened. He ensured that the descriptions appeared sincere enough to wipe any shadow of doubt that the reader might have. The book therefore enables people to have a broad mind and pushes them to think of the unthinkable and to imagine the unimaginable. In the process, it reveals the evil nature of human beings. Night is also short and brief enough for the reader to quickly go over the ghastly happenings outlined.
However, the book is not interesting to read, due to it contains descriptions of unimaginable cruelty by men in regard to others on the basis of religion. The events described are graphic and may be disturbing for faint-hearted readers. The probability that the latter will be adversely affected by what they read, or may not even finish reading the book, is very high. It is the main weakness. However, there is also the inability of the reader to verify whether the events described have actually ever happened. Some of them are so extreme that it is difficult to believe that a human being can do that to someone else. Some may even have a psychotic behavior. The writer also loses his faith in God and is totally disgusted by the human race.
Night by Elie Wiesel is an educative book, which describes one of the darkest times in the world history. The writer ensures that the reader bonds with his emotions and understands the hardships he has faced. Reading the book gives one a near firsthand description of what the Jews have experienced under the hand of the Nazis. It makes a person appreciate peace and cooperation that prevails in most parts of the world today and realize the importance of maintaining such.
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