Innocence In Eliezer Wiesel's Night

850 Words4 Pages

Some people may say that innocence is impossible after the Holocaust. I disagree. Innocence adopts many forms, including delusion, joy, and anger. Throughout Night, Eliezer experiences all of these (mental states).

Delusion rules the people of Sighet. At the beginning of the book, the fascist German army is beginning to advance. The people of Sighet surround themselves with a wall of delusion; they continually deny the reality of their situation. The first incident occurs when Moishe the Beadle relays the horrors of deportation. “‘They think I 'm mad,’ he whispered…” (Wiesel, 7) The penetration of Hungarian troops by German armies was the next step in the stairway of madness. “The Germans won’t make it this far.” (Wiesel, 9) Although edicts …show more content…

“Every encounter filled us with joy—yes, joy…” (Wiesel, 35) Eliezer had already adapted to his situation, using the word joy to describe the meeting. “In the afternoon, we cheerfully went to clear the ruins.” (Wiesel, 61) The above quote is a perfect example of how Eliezer continually adjusts his meaning of ‘happiness’ and takes nothing for granted. “But we no longer feared death, in any event not this particular death. Every bomb that hit filled us with joy, gave us renewed confidence.” (Wiesel, 60) In reality, freedom is still far away. Eliezer and the other inmates believe freedom is close; a loss of innocence would have meant a loss of hope. “My father’s presence was the only thing that stopped me...I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me? I was his sole support.” (Wiesel, 87) Although Eliezer supported his father, his father supported him. “For a ration of bread I was able to exchange cots to be next to my father.” (Wiesel, 108) It does not take much to get what you want in times such as these. Eliezer knew his father would do soon, and did his best to not only provide comfort but also for …show more content…

“For the first time, I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?” (Wiesel, 33) “The student of Talmud, the child I was, had been consumed by the flames.” (Wiesel, 37) Struggle for identity is seen here as Eliezer loses the faith he once studied and worshipped. “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.” (Wiesel, 34) This was the turning point for Eliezer in many ways. The warm blanket of delusion that had once been wrapped securely around Eliezer had long been discarded. Faith and hope were also gone for the moment. “And from within me, I heard a voice answer: "Where He is? This is where—hanging here from this gallows…” (Wiesel, 65) Eliezer’s struggle for identity is shown again in the above quote. Eliezer recognizes that his faith in God is not enough to save him from the horrors of the concentration camp. “One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.” (Wiesel, 109) This is stated after Eliezer is told that his father’s neighbors are beating his father.
“We were the masters of nature, the masters of the world. We had transcended everything—death, fatigue, our natural needs.”

Open Document