Faith Destroyed in Eliezer Wiesel’s Night Essay

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Faith Destroyed in Eliezer Wiesel’s Night

At first glance, Night, by Eliezer Wiesel does not seem to be an example of deep or emotionally complex literature. It is a tiny book, one hundred pages at the most with a lot of dialogue and short choppy sentences. But in this memoir, Wiesel strings along the events that took him through the Holocaust until they form one of the most riveting, shocking, and grimly realistic tales ever told of history’s most famous horror story. In Night, Wiesel reveals the intense impact that concentration camps had on his life, not through grisly details but in correlation with his lost faith in God and the human conscience.

Elie Wiesel’s God is more than a substantial part of his life. When Elie first
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Elie and his father are taken to Auschwitz where they are separated from the rest of the family and first hear about atrocities such as the incinerators and gas showers. In the beginning Elie believes that everything is a rumor, a lie, that humankind cannot perform such crimes, but he soon is forced to witness the demise in front of his eyes. This is when his outlook on his faith starts to waver. While watching the smoke billow up from a crematory, Elie hears a man standing next to him begging him to pray, and for the first time in his life Wiesel turns away from God. “The Eternal, Lord of the Universe, the All-Powerful and Terrible, was silent. What had I to thank him for?” (31).

As Elie gets used to his new life in such a hellish state, he realizes that the trusting and faithful child that he once had been had been taken away along with his family and all else that he had ever known. While so many others around him still implore the God of their past to bring them through their suffering, Wiesel reveals to the reader that although he still believes that there is a God, he no longer sees Him as a just and compassionate leader but a cruel and testing spectator.

Elie’s faith in his Lord and his instinctive love for humanity are put to their final tests as the novel approaches its climax and conclusion. After witnessing the malicious, brutal hanging of an innocent child, Elie comes to the
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