Evil a Learned Behavior

6329 WordsMay 11, 201126 Pages
“Evil, a Learned Behavior” What is evil? Is it characterized by a desire to cause hurt or harm, “an evil mood”? What causes people to do evil? The strong feelings of hatred and dislike that builds up in all of us or simply that all our emotions are constantly on the dark side for such a long period of time. What is right from wrong when the hate in our hearts makes us all make terrible mistakes and commit evil. The writings of Confucius say, “There is no light without darkness, no positive without negative, no good without evil.” Throughout the history of humanity, humans have committed inconceivable and unthinkable acts of cruelty towards one another. From the brutal wars during the times of the ancient Greeks and Romans, to the modern…show more content…
Having grown up an Orthodox Jew in the Hungarian village of Sighet, Wiesel and his family was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 where his mother and youngest sister were immediately sent to the gas chambers. While both his older sisters survived, his father, with whom Wiesel had fought to survive the labor camps, died shortly before the war ended. Night tells the horror stories of the Holocaust through the eyes of the fifteen-year old Wiesel who recounts the loss of his innocence, his faith in God, his sense of time and his sense of self. Night describes how the Nazis dehumanized the Jews at every stage through the war years. And in the process, they lost their own sense of humanity. Dehumanization usually involves members of one group asserting the inferiority of another group through acts or words. But during the Holocaust, the Nazis did not stop at simply asserting their own superiority over the Jews; they stripped them of their sense of self and individuality and reduced them to the numbers they had tattooed on their arms. The theme of inhumanity is omnipresent in every story and every memory recounted in the memoir. Night makes you question the power of humanity. It makes you wonder how ordinary human beings could bring themselves to commit the kind of atrocities that we now deem unthinkable. But then again, people say that the most human thing of all is
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