Analysis Of Elie Wiesel's Poem 'On The Divine'

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In the poem, “On the Divine” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the author states, “Noble be Man,/ Generous and good”. This quote is meant to show that mankind is to be noble and good from a very optimistic perspective. However, put in such an event as the Holocaust, for example, this quote is proven wrong, for mankind has just as much potential to be noble and kind as they do to be selfish and cruel. In the Holocaust memoir, Night, by Elie Wiesel, the author proves just this. The author, being a survivor of the Holocaust, writes of his first hand experience struggling through the awful events that happened to him and many other innocent people. The despicable and tragic events that Elie suffered through, however, is just one example of the wicked…show more content…
Mankind is both intelligent and capable of making humble choices, however, it is the following choices of the Nazis that prove that much of humanity is deeply flawed and cruel. For example, when Elie first gets to the concentration camp, he is still confused as to where he was and if all that was happening was a dream. The thought of his surroundings being a dream soon turned to reality when, “A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this, with my own eyes… children thrown into the flames.” (Wiesel 32). The Nazis were heartless and even threw babies into the pits to be burned to death. Mankind is to be civilized, equal, and just and this quote shows that these things are of no importance and that man cannot distinguish between moral and evil if they think that throwing babies into the flames to be burned is okay. Another example was when a young pipel was thought to be part of a sabotage against the camp officials and was sentenced to be hanged. On the day of the hangings, all the inmates had to attend and watch each and every inmate get hanged. The third and last inmate to get hung was the small boy…show more content…
When Elie was taking a rest from the evacuation march from the camp in an old shed in the snow, an old man came in desperately looking for his son, Rabbi Eliahu. This father had been very close with his son and they had stayed that way for three years in the concentration camp, however, on the march, the two got separated because the father could no longer keep up. At first, Elie didn’t remember the little boy running beside him and was no help to the father trying to find his son at the time, but when he left, Elie remembered the boy seeing his father slow down and had actually sped up to allow the distance between them become greater. The author wrote, "He had felt his father growing weaker and, believing that the end was near, had thought by this separation to free himself of a burden that could diminish his own chance for survival." (Wiesel 91). Even though this son and father had been suffering the same amount in the camps and had been really close, the son remained greedy for his own survival and left his father alone to die. This proves that mankind has plenty of opportunities to make noble decisions such as this boy staying with his father and helping him live, however, greed, along with many other factors, can make mankind ruthless and selfish since they only make decisions based on how they can positively benefit. Another example of this cruelty and selfishness was when Elie
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