Elie Wiesel’s Night

936 Words4 Pages
There exist only two types of people in a time of war and crisis, those who survive and those who die. Elie Wiesel’s novel, Night shows how Elie, himself, faces difficult problems and struggles to survive World War II. Wilfred Owen’s poem, “Dulce et Decorum Est”, tells a story about a young soldier thinking of himself before others during World War I. The poem “Mary Hamilton” shows how a mother killed her child so she would not get into trouble. Sir John Harrington writes about a sad truth in the poem “On Treason”; the poem reflects humanity’s selfish tendencies during tough times. When people face difficult times they often care about only one person, themselves; the need to survive clouds people’s moral and judgment.…show more content…
Instead, Mary Hamilton gave in to her selfish need to protect herself from death. War can turn a son against his own father in order to improve the son’s chances of survival. By the end of the novel, Night, Elie Wiesel starts to hold a grudge against his father. Elie tries to keep his father alive. Elie says “I gave him what was left of my soup. But my heart was heavy. I was aware that I was doing it grudgingly” (Wiesel 107). All the prisoners have been fighting through hell to survive. Elie knows that giving up his soup will only hurt him, and begins to develop a selfish attitude. The Blockalteste gives Elie advice when he notices Elie’s sick father. The Blockalteste says: “in this place, it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others” (110). This “every man for himself” attitude spreads like wildfire in a time of chaos and destruction. The man also tells Elie: “Each of us lives and dies alone. Let me give you good advice: stop giving your ration of bread and soup to your old father. You cannot help him anymore. And you are hurting yourself. In fact, you should be getting his rations” (110-111). Elie’s thoughts become clouded by the man’s advice. Elie agrees with the man, “deep down, not daring to admit it to myself” (111). War tests the morals and judgments of men, seeing how far they can be pushed before they give in to their own needs and survival. Sir John Harrington writes the short, but accurate poem, “On
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