Altruism In Night By Elie Wiesel

Decent Essays
In Night, altruism is what separates man from beast. Humans as a species differ from the majority of the animal kingdom in their willingness to sacrifice their own well-being for the benefit of others. To be human is to be compassionate and caring for your fellow man. In Night, Elie Wiesel shows that humanity is [usurpable]. Subjected to the inhuman conditions of the Nazi concentration camps, his sense of altruism and compassion essentially disappear, leaving only animalistic self-interest and the instinct to survive.
Not yet exposed to the horrors of the concentration camp, Elie enters Birkenau with his innate senses of compassion and altruism intact. Soon after his arrival, Elie witnesses the burning of children, women, and men alike. In response to this horrific sight, Elie becomes doubtful of the reality of this situation and questions, "How was it possible… that the world kept silent?" (32). As seen in the creation of Night and this question, for Elie, silence is unthinkable. At this point, Elie still holds faith in the power that people hold. However, the only hope to save these people from their fates is if the silence breaks. Along with this thinking, his tone of disbelief contributes to Elie's demonstration of one of man's most primitive instinct: compassion. This compassion is still strong in Elie—for if this was false, why would he have questioned this so passionately? However, after submitting to oppression from the concentration camps' officials, Elie's
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