'there Remained Only A Shape That Looked Like Me. A Dark Flame Had Entered My Soul And Devoured It.' By The End Of The Narrative, How Has Elie Changed? "Night" By Eliezer Wiesel.

967 words - 4 pages

The novel, 'Night', by Elie Wiesel, is the story of a Holocaust survivor. Though there are many themes to be found in the book, they all relate back to the way Elie changes. As much as Elie changes physically throughout his journey, mentally he is changed in several ways. His identity is changed to the point where he becomes a number, he has to change his way of thinking in order to survive, he experiences a major faith shift, and the relationship he has with his father changes dramatically.Throughout the novel, the author reinforces the belief that he, and the millions of other Jews, are no longer real people, but instead objects, no better than animals. The quote, "There remained only a shape that looked like me," (pg. 48) enforces the belief that while he exists physically, mentally he has lost the identity he once had. This belief is repeated when Elie states, "I became A-7713. After that, I had no other name." (pg. 54). The Jews were treated in such a way that it only took a short space of time for their identity to disappear. One example of this is when Elie says, "Within a few seconds, we had ceased to be men." (pg. 48), proving how much power the German Nazis held over them. Not only did Elie suffer a loss of identity, but he also lost the innocence he once had, because of the horrors he witnessed at such a young age. Once being a 'spoiled child', Elie had to quickly adapt to the situation he was placed in.Elie had to quickly learn how to adapt in order to survive from the moment he arrived at Auschwitz. He soon developed a natural instinct to lie as he demonstrated when questioned about his age and job. "'Farmer', I heard myself say." (pg. 42). In such a short amount of time, Elie had already begun to use survival instinct. This is shown later on in the novel, when all he does is what is necessary to survive, without thought. "Our legs were moving mechanically, in spite of us, without us." (pg. 99). Another way he developed to the situation is when he refused to eat at first. "Tormented thought I was by hunger, I refused to touch it. I was still the spoiled child I had always been." (pg. 53). This is a stark contrast to the end of the novel, where soup is all he cares about. "And I had but one desire - to eat...From time to time I would dream of a drop of soup." (pg. 124).One of the biggest themes in 'Night' is faith, and the loss of it which many experienced. While Elie personally didn't lose faith entirely he went through a major shift. At the beginning of the novel, Elie was heavily religious, stating that, "I...

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