Fear In Night Analysis

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Mahatma Gandhi often mentioned fear in his teachings: defining it, recognizing it, and overcoming it. He identifies fear saying, “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear.” (Gandhi). Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night which is the story of Elie’s life in the Concentration Camps during the Holocaust reflects this statement. The people that experienced these camps lived in unimaginable fear every minute. When we look at such utter hatred and terror it is easy to see hatred as the enemy, but both Elie and Gandhi reflect the same message, that fear is powerful. Fear is the strongest human emotion, because it has the power to change people’s entire view of life and reality.
The first example of fear overtaking the people and changing them
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Elie is so afraid of being beaten or killed that he allows his father to be beaten on multiple occasions. This starts early on, the first day after they arrive at the camp Elie feels that the environment he has been placed in has changed him “What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, before my very eyes, and I had not flickered an eyelid. I looked on and said nothing. Yesterday, I should have sunk my nails into the criminal’s flesh. Had I changed so much? So quickly?” (Wiesel 37). This quote shows that Elie’s greatest fear, even if he does not realize it is his fear of death; He fears losing his father but, it does not change the fact that he is driven by survival. The last time this happens is just before his father dies and Elie finds himself unchanged, still unable to give up his fear. “The officer came closer and shouted to him to be silent. But my father did not hear. He continued to call me. The officer wielded his club and dealt him a violent blow to the head. I didn 't move. I was afraid, my body was afraid of another blow, this time to my head.” (Wiesel 111). Any son would go to his father’s aid when he is sick and being attacked, but Elie cannot bring himself beyond his fear of the officers even though he wants to help his father he can only focus on his own survival. Elie’s love for his father was not able to overcome his fear of
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