Self Preservation In The Novel Night By Elie Wiesel

1581 WordsDec 17, 20177 Pages
In the novel “Night” by Elie Wiesel the theme of self preservation and loss of identity plays a critical role in the development of Eliezer (Elie Wiesel) throughout the book. As Wiesel suffers through the tragic events of the holocaust, self preservation proves to be more difficult to keep and losing one’s character seems easy. Wiesel’s identity, faith, and his will to live start to fade as he begins to forms a new character, a character who remains silent. Losing identity means losing the values that makes up a character. Self preservation is defined as the protection of oneself from harm or death, and it is a fundamental part of this story. One example of this is can be found on page 32, Eliezer says “Tell him that I is a student? “Farmer,” I heard myself saying.” He says this so that he can stay alive. When Jews are taken to Auschwitz they are asked what their age is, and also asked and if they are physically fit enough to work. The young children and the elderly that are not fit to work are gassed in the chamber. To make sure they see that he is physically fit, Eliezer hustled to each check-in, and lied about his age and occupation. This relates to self preservation because he did this to survive, he acted to ensure his safety and survival. Another example of self preservation is when Eliezer talks about Mrs. Schächter, a women that is on the same train as he. On page 24, Eliezer comments “Mrs. Schächter had lost her mind. On the first day of the journey, she had began to moan” On the ride to Auschwitz, a woman starts going insane, she started seeing and hearing things. On the third night, she is screaming saying “Fire, I see fire!”. They thought she is insane and to quiet her they beat her so she didn't scream. This relates to self preservation because on the ride the people that beat her to keep her quiet are trying to preserve themselves from the screaming and loud noise. Eliezer also preserves himself by letting this happen, he believed that it is better for her to be out so that she did not scream. Hope and Faith ties into a lot of things, courage, fate, and ultimately religion. It can one way someone can preserve themselves. But once those values disappear, a character may start to lose their

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