Elie Wiesel Identity

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It is the goal of numerous people in the world to eventually find their identity, or, in other words: who they are. Numerous aspects of life can determine who someone is. It may be through whom they meet, the things they do, or the events that take place in their lives that define them. In addition, a person may find their identity in their belongings or their family. However, in the beginning of the memoir, Night, author Elie Wiesel already has a clear sense of who he is, and is mostly content with his identity. He finds his identity mostly in his religion and family. In fact, in the beginning of the book, the author describes himself as “believing profoundly”(Wiesel), which is synonymous with being a devout Jew. Ths can be interpreted into…show more content…
Before this occurs, however, the Jews are stripped of all of their freedom, belongings, and much of their clothes. Instead, the Nazis view them only by their Jewish heritage. This removes every person’s individuality, as they are defined according to what they have.The manner that the people were transported was through cattle cars. This was a particularly harsh and unhealthy environment. Almost immediately, numerous people resort to using instinct and increasingly barbaric ways. An example of this can be found on page 32, when the author writes, “Free from all social constraint, the young people gave way openly to instinct, taking advantage of the darkness to copulate in our midst, without caring about anyone else, as though they were alone in the world.” (Weisel 32) This certain segment from the text demonstrates how quickly many people are willing to give up their identity and former characteristics in the occurrence of a crisis. This is merely the beginning of the effects that the theme has upon all of the Jews that experienced the…show more content…
To begin, the males and females are immediately separated. Unfortunately, this includes Elie being separated from his mother and sisters; which immediately takes a toll on his identity. Then, shortly after, Elie recounts getting assigned numbers, or new names. On page 42, he says, “I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name.” (Wiesel, 42) The many people dwelling in the work camp become so fixated on survival and when they would receive their next meal, that they lose their former qualities and morals. Wiesel writes of the appearances of the Jews around him in the camp. He explains how different they appear physically. In addition, he also explains how their mentality has altered. They are constantly fixated exclusively on their next meal, or food in general. This is an example of how drastically the labor camps changed not only Elie, but all of the Jews that had the misfortune of residing within them. Elie no longer recognizes himself. He is a “corpse” or a husk of who he was formerly. At this point in his experience if the Holocaust, Wiesel had almost entirely lost faith in his God, which, the audience can recall was a large portion of his identity before the events that
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