night elie wiesel Essay

Submitted By ghostkid24
Words: 901
Pages: 4

Rafael Cruz English 10H
2/1/14 Mr. Sheehan

In the novel Night, Elie Wiesel develops the theme of fathers and sons by the usage of figurative language. He also develops his theme by showing how a father and son relationship, can change frequently when life experiences come abroad. To support this theme Wiesel uses irony, symbolism and understatement. These examples of figurative language are also used to show how the relationship between Elie and his father, frequently changes throughout the time spent in the Nazi concentration camps. It is clear that throughout the novel the relationship between Elie and his father continuously changes from love, to a sense of hatred. The author creates many different situations to show the odd relationship between the two. A good example of the usage of irony is when a German soldier is brutally beating on Elie’s father, and Elie does nothing to help or better the situation. Instead, he explains that ” I had watched it all happening without moving. I kept silent. In fact, I thought of stealing away in order not to suffer the blows. What’s more, if I felt anger at the moment, it was not directed at the Kapo but at my father”(Wiesel 54). This shows how heartless and selfish Elie was towards his father during that time. It was also very ironic that Elie was not at all sad about the situation. In fact he blamed his father for not avoiding it. It gives an understanding of the type of relationship shared between Elie and his father. Another example of irony is when Elie tries pleasing his father in not eating on the Jewish holiday. “ I did not fast. First of all to please my father who had forbidden me to do so”(Wiesel 69). At times Elie has showed that he doesn’t care about his father, but now he is showing the total opposite. He’s now showing that he wants to make his father proud by doing what he asks of him. Before it seemed as though he had no concerns about pleasing his father as he watched him get physically bullied by a German soldier. These examples show the two sided relationship that Elie has with his father. Along with irony the author uses symbolism to better support the theme. On the verge of dying Elie’s father struggles to remain awake. On their way to “freedom” the men in the train are ordered to throw away all dead bodies. In the process of doing, so the men come across Elie’s father before Elie steps in to protect him. “I woke from my apathy only when two men approached my father. I threw myself on his body. He was cold. I slapped him. I rubbed his hands, crying”(Wiesel 99). This quote represents the resistant love Elie has left for his father. He now realizes and understands how important he is to his life. Also that his father is only real person left that he can count on. At the end of the novel, Elie’s father passes away. This leads to the isolation that Elie feels in his heart. He is now unable to think or care about anything existing around him. He exerts “ I shall not describe my life during that period. It no longer mattered. Since my fathers death, nothing mattered to me anymore”(Wiesel 113). This symbolizes the pain in Elie‘s life since his fathers death. He feels that