preview

Elie Wiesel Faith

Good Essays
Faith is such an important part of life. It is the drive, the motive to live, to breathe, to feel. When faith is lost, so is the reason to exist; life is lost in oblivion. Faith is a truly powerful weapon and as the story of Eliezer 's life during the Holocaust is played out through this book, a first-hand perspective is gained of what someone can do to cause questioning of faith and how people respond, whether by strengthening faith or losing it entirely. Eliezer is hit with every hard trial imaginable within a year of his life and eventually withers and hardens into this completely new person than the boy he was when he first stepped into that cattle car expelling him from Sighet, his home, and life. When everything familiar is taken, doubt…show more content…
As the time went by inside the camps, many wondered if it would be better to just give up, give up and forget all the misery they have gone through. To just let go and fall in the arms of god. However, for some that was not the case, they fought until they no longer had a sense of what they were doing and if it was the right thing to do. They had hope, hope that made them feel as if this was not real, that it would all pass soon. For example, Elie Wiesel said ”I pinched myself: Was I still alive? Was I awake? How was it possible that men, women, and children were being burned and that the world kept silent? No. All this could not be real. A nightmare, perhaps… Soon I would wake up with a start, my heart pounding, and find that I was back in my room of my childhood with my books…” (pg. 32) This shows that Elie was starting to realize the truth, and is trying to believe that all the horrors happening around him are not true. Elie spent his first months at the camp denying that he was in any danger and that he would be safe, he had hope. After months of coming to a sense that there would be no liberation of the jews Elie became numb to the idea of death. He no longer had hope in God, in others, nor himself. Elie has said in later years ”During, there was nothing--not even a plea to or a bargain with God. God, he feels, had nothing to do with his survival. "If God was…show more content…
The conditions he was put through made him live and feel less like a human being, thus his will to survive began to shrivel away. Another author with similar experiences, Viktor Frankl, wrote about how “the human being is completely and unavoidably influenced by his surroundings…. The way in which a man accepts his fate and all the suffering it entails gives him an opportunity to give a deeper meaning to his life” (Frankl 1). Ellie had accepted his fate to be doomed, no longer finding any meaning to his life therefore crushing his remaining faith. In addition, Ellie had lived a very religious life before the Holocaust, praying at the synagogue every day and wanting to learn the Kabbalah. When he no longer accepted god, he had no other thing besides his father to live for. “Man is a creature of faith as much as reason” (Economist 77). It is faith that gives man reason and a will to live. Though the way one might accept his fate may appear involuntary, Victor Frankl claims that man has a choice to hold on to his faith. Elie Wiesel’s relative, Stein, for example, chose to give up on faith and his life when he realized his wife and children were dead. He had continued to live on for weeks after Ellie had lied about his family’s well-being by his own choice until he had received the real news about his family. This shows how it is man’s choice to give into all the pain they
Get Access