Identity Changes for Elie Wiesel
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Honors English 8
24 January 2014
Identity Changes for Elie Wiesel
Identity, a pure and changing trait, changes for Elie Wiesel throughout the story Night. Identity a chameleon changes colors according to the surroundings. Alike the saying "everybody is different" everybody\'s identity differs uniquely in their own way. Identity proves what one becomes. If a person loses their identity, they become nothing, just a body and a corpse. Night by Elie Wiesel, proves a horror story about Elie\'s adventure through the Holocaust. This story proves many points: Elie\'s faith, family and friends, and his urge to support human rights around the world. Elie survives the Holocaust to write this book; however, the shocks of the Holocaust never leave his mind.
Many things change in Elie throughout the Holocaust, his faith in God changes from the beginning of the Holocaust to the end. He still believes that God exists but that man proves greater. Before the Holocaust, like Moses, he praises and worships God. He studies Talmud in the daytime and runs to the synagogue and prays at night. When Moishe the Beadle, "the jack of all trades" (Wiesel 3) asks Elie why he prays, he says, "Why did I pray? Strange question. Why did I live? Why did I breathe" (Wiesel 4). Elie compares praying to his life and his breathing. He says the reason he lives is to pray. During the Holocaust, Elie\'s faith in God changes drastically. He believes that God abandons the Jews. "Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine alter" (Wiesel 67)? This proves that Elie believes God deserts them while Jews, being thrown in the fire, a roaring mountain of fiery flames, occurs as a regular event. Some say Elie looses his faith and becomes an atheist, but evidence shows in this quote that God makes him furious for not helping out the Jews. However, after the Holocaust, Elie shows a change in faith. He begins to believe in God. He says, "But I have faith. Faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and even in His creation." (Wiesel, "Nobel," 120). Elie after the terrible horrors he faces trusts in God once more. Faith, a fickle thing, changes much for Elie, before, during, and after the Holocaust.
Elie\'s identity changes many times during the Holocaust. Family means a lot to many people. Family and friends matter to Elie a lot before the nightmare starts. "My hand tightened its grip on my father. All I could think of was not to lose him" (Wiesel 30). Not wanting to lose his father he keeps him close. The Holocaust years changes Elie\'s view of his family, mainly his father. "And he began beating him with an iron bar. At first my father simply doubled over under the blows, but then he seemed to break in two like an old tree struck by lightning. I had watched it all without moving. I kept silent" (Wiesel 54). Idek, the Kapo of their Kommando beats Elie\'s father, and Elie ensures to not move and stays silent watching his father get beat. His love for family greatly diminishes during the Holocaust. The horrors of World War 2 impacted Elie and his family greatly; after the war though, Elie remembers his father and mother and siblings he lost during the Holocaust. "And yet, I sense their presence. I always do - and at this moment more than ever. The presence of my parents, that of my little sister. The presence of my teachers, my friends, and companions…" (Wiesel, "Nobel," 118). He still remembers his family and friends after the war. He still adores them. Love for family changes along his winding and horrifying adventure of ups and downs for Elie Wiesel.
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Holocaust literature, Elie Wiesel, Hasidic Judaism, Madoff investment scandal, Night, Day, Wiesel, Bibliography of The Holocaust, Aftermath of the Holocaust
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