The Effects Of Dehumanization In Night Before The War By Elie Wiesel

Decent Essays
Dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed” (Paulo Freire). No is born violent or racist. It is only when something unjust happens, that a person feels the need to dehumanize the oppressed or themselves, even. Elie Wiesel is a perfect example of someone who experiences this dehumanization, and bears the effects of it. In his memoir Night, before the war, Elie Wiesel has a strong faith and identity as well as a distant relationship with his father because none of these are challenged; however, he witnesses and experiences mistreatment by the Nazis which causes him to lose his faith, his…show more content…
They pray for [Him]! They praise [His] name!” (Wiesel 68). In addition to losing his faith, Elie Wiesel seems to forget his identity due to dehumanization. In order to dehumanize him, the Nazis take away the thing that Elie Wiesel is most proud of, his name. Elie was renamed “A-7713. From then on, [he] had no other name” (Wiesel 42). Not only does he lose his name, but Elie Wiesel no longer has a reaction to the mistreatment that is happening to other people around him. He sees this abuse all the time every day that he has become numb to it. He even watches his own father be beaten up “without moving. [He keeps] silent… [and] thought of stealing away in order not to suffer the blows… That was what life in a concentration camp had made of [him]…” (Wiesel 54). In addition to being numb to the abuse, Elie becomes numb to his own human emotions as well. This shows when Elie sees Yechiel, the Sigheter rebbe’s brother crying. Elie informs Yechiel to not cry and to not “waste [his] tears…Not cry? [they’re] on the threshold of death…How could [they] not cry?” (Wiesel 88). All the suffering that Elie has endured exhausts him, and he can no longer feel regular human emotions. Lastly, after all the trauma and mistreatment that Elie Wiesel and his father go through together, their relationship strengthens, until Elie’s father becomes a burden to him. Elie does truly want to take of his
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