Theme Of Self Respect In Night Elie Wiesel

1400 Words6 Pages
An individual’s dignity wavers depending on the actions that events in his life call for, his perception of responsibility. In the novel, Night Elie Wiesel develops the idea of a lack of self-respect as a result of a forced passivity to the injustice that befell him during the Holocaust. To begin, his low self-esteem is illustrated through the defeated tone used throughout the novel. Then, the dichotomy between him and his father further demonstrates the lowly self-image. Lastly, the powerful symbolism depicts Wiesel's pessimistic opinion. Initially, the absence of self-respect caused by an individual’s inability to counter injustice is illustrated through the novel's disappointed tone. When his sickly father is denied sustenance Wiesel states, "I gave him what was left of my soup. But my heart was heavy. I was aware I was doing it grudgingly. . . I had not passed the test" (Wiesel 107). Here, his despondent voice provides obvious insight on the conflict of his internal state. The author places “but” hurriedly after he mentions his, seemingly, noble action; the fastidious syntax clears any modicum of respect that might appear as the term negates the value of the notion implied previously. Wiesel does not consider himself honorable for his actions because his intentions are not pure. The use of the phrases, “heart was heavy”, “grudgingly” and “had not passed” serve to further the negative connotation that radiates from the passage, constituting the displeased tone. Also, the
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