Night By Elie Wiesel: Literary Analysis

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During the Holocaust, the Germans deprived minority groups, especially the Jews, of human qualities, personalities, and spirits. The German Nazis treated the Jews like animals and forced them to endure abominable physical tortures. In the novel, Night, Elie Wiesel narrates his life during World War II as a Jew; he is compelled to be relocated to a concentration camp with his father, but unfortunately, he and his father are separated from his mother and sisters. Wiesel and his father face many situations where they are dehumanized along with the other fellow Jews. Through his perspective, the readers discover the cruel and disgusting practices taken against the Jews. For instance, they are compared to dogs, tattooed with numbers, and starved to the extent where they would kill one another for a piece of food.

A German officer dehumanizes the Jews when he forces them into a cattle car. He states, "There
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Wiesel says, "I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name"(Wiesel 42). All of the Jews are now just a number because it is easier to kill a number rather than a name. A number does not have a strong meaning. Therefore, items are labeled with numbers and not people that have worth. While a name has significance and spirit; a name will have more meaning and can bring up a human face to image. This also a technique to mentally cripple the Jews. For months and years they are referred to as a number. So, they begin to forget their names and consequently what makes them human. The numbers also make them feel inconsequential because of the fact that there are so many numbers. The outrageous multitude of numbers produces the Jews to believe that they could easily be replaced with another number which is true in the camps. This is strongly dehumanizing to the Jews and Wiesel because they no longer feel human or consider that they should be treated like one, but rather a
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