Elie Wiesel's Night Essays

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Night

In Night, by Elie Wiesel, there is an underlying theme of anger. Anger not directed where it seems most appropriate- at the Nazis- but rather a deeper, inbred anger directed towards God. Having once been a role model of everything a “good Jew” should be, Wiesel slowly transforms into a faithless human being. He cannot comprehend why the God who is supposed to love and care for His people would refuse to protect them from the Germans. This anger grows as Wiesel does and is a constant theme throughout the book.

Early in Night, Elie Wiesel begins to express doubt about his faith. Some talked of God, of his mysterious ways, ...and of their future deliverance. But I had ceased to pray. How I sympathized with Job! I did
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What does Your greatness mean, Lord of the universe, in the face of all this weakness, this decomposition, and this decay? Why do You still trouble their sick minds, their crippled bodies?’ (63)
In this passage Wiesel has become more overtly angry with God. He no longer hides behind the reverence he has grown up knowing. Rather he is openly charging God with not only the destruction of the Jewish people, but also with continually plaguing their thoughts. Having the false hope that God may one day save them seems like a cruel joke. Wiesel seems to be saying that if God has already decided not to save them, than the least He can do is quit allowing the people to pray to and follow Him.

Wiesel also seems angry at the thought of comparing God’s infinite greatness with the complete disintegration of the people in the concentration camps. Thinking about God’s power and strength seems impossible when the only people surrounding Wiesel who are in positions of power are the enemy. It seems almost morbidly amusing that the Jews are relying on this Savior who allows such horrible conditions to continue. If he is so wonderful, why does he not save them?

Later in Night, Wiesel starts to believe that he has become a stranger among his own people and religion. He no longer feels any spiritual connection with the other Jewish people.

...Once I had believed profoundly that upon one solitary deed of mine, one

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