Summary Of Elie Wiesel's Dawn

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In Elie Wiesel’s novel, Dawn, the main character Elisha has to make a grueling decision to kill a John Dawson, a British officer. When Elisha was 12 years old he meets beggar at his hometown synagogue. Elisha tries to convince the beggar to come back to his house for food and a bed for him to sleep in. The beggar refuses the kind gesture and instead offers Elisha wisdom. The beggar introduces the symbol of the faces of night as well as the symbols of night and day. The symbols of night and day mirror Elisha’s resolution. During the night Elisha contemplates weather he should or should not kill John Dawson. At the break of day, Elisha finally commits to his decision to kill John Dawson. The advice that the beggar had given Elisha would follow …show more content…

The decision to kill John Dawson is especially tough for Elisha since he is the only member of his family that survived the holocaust. While living in Paris a man approached Elisha and asked him to join the movement. The Jews in Palestine organized the movement. The Jews were wanted to be free from British control. The whole idea amazed Elisha since for the first time the Jews were standing up for themselves. The movement decides to kill John Dawson at the same time the British are planning on killing David ben Moshe. Elisha explained “...A man is to die… at dawn tomorrow” (46). After countless hours of pondering he decides to kill John Dawson. Once it is over he is emotionally destroyed and he heads back upstairs to Joab, Ilana and Gad, “Their silence was different from the silence which all night long had weighed upon mine. On the horizon the sun was rising” (80). While the sun was rising and the child was crying, Elisha looked into the window at daybreak, “The tattered fragment of darkness had a face. Looking at it, I understood the reason for my fear. The face was my own” (81). Elisha at this point realized that he is similar to every other face in the window. After killing John Dawson, Elisha considers himself dead

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