Eliezer And His Father Over The Course Essay


¶ … Eliezer and his father Over the course of the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, the narrator Eliezer's relationship with his father shifts from that of a conventional father-son relationship to a relationship in which Eliezer eventually becomes the stronger of the two men. Eliezer quickly becomes a man because of the historical circumstances to which he is subjected. Growing up in a concentration camp he soon learns that his father is far from infallible -- physically, emotionally, and intellectually. At first the son looks to his father for guidance during their confinement in the ghetto and during their initial tenure in the camp. Then he grows impatient with his father's physical weakness, and finally takes the more active, dominant role in the relationship because of his youth and greater physical strength.

Night opens in a Nazi-occupied ghetto in Eastern Europe. Eliezer's father is a source of strength for the other residents, because of his faith and wisdom. His son...


However, Eliezer's independence of mind is manifest even in the beginning chapters, as he studies Kabala against his father's wishes. He also urges his father to relocate the family to Palestine, which his father refuses to do, as the man is reluctant to leave his homeland. His father is unable to perceive the horror of what awaits in Auschwitz, and Eliezer later blames his father, on some level, for this failure. Unlike his father, Eliezer is incapable of saying Kaddish for the dead when he first sees the crematoriums. The longer the boy remains in Auschwitz, the more of a skeptic his father's faith Eliezer becomes.
Still, when Eliezer is initially brought to Auschwitz he is overjoyed to remain with his father, who represents a source of stability and security, especially since Eliezer has been taken away from his mother and sisters. Eliezer and his father initially work side-by-side. As the cruelty of the camp begins to penetrate his soul, Eliezer grows to resent his…

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