“Night” by Elie Wiesel
Night by Elie Wiesel is one such book where the main character is forced to go through hardships in order to become a different person. It describes the difficult life of a Jewish boy who had to experience a horrifying experience of hunger, violence and losing someone he loves. Since adolescence is a period when most of someone’s personality is created, a question arises whether these events shaped the protagonist into a weaker or stronger person. At the end of the story, however, it becomes clear that Elie sees himself as fragile and almost non-human.
Along with his family, the main character is captured and forced to go to a concentration camp, where different traumatic events happen. As soon as the protagonist enters the camp, he is separated from his mother and sister. One of the first instances when Elie shows the signs of weakness is when he tells that “there could be no greater torment in God’s hell than that of being stranded here” (Wiesel, 2006, p. 4). Meanwhile, as he continues to live in the camp, he is starving and tries to gain support from his father. However, this connection was never meant to last as they were separated, and the father later died as well. There is no doubt that such events can break the spirit of the young man, as at the end of the book he admits that he does not even feel like a human. As the author states, “from the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me” (Wiesel, 2006, p. 115). Nevertheless, since this book is the first one of the trilogy, there is hope that the main character can regain his strength again.
In conclusion, it would appear that even the author considers himself to be a weaker person after all these hardships he had to go through. He had lost his family and was forced to experience hunger to the point that his personality underwent dramatic changes. At the end of the book, the main character doubts his humanity, which makes the reader believe that he is now more fragile than he could ever be.
Wiesel, E. (2006). Night (Vol. 55). Macmillan.
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