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The book “Night” is based on the autobiography of the author and founded on his life as a young Jewish boy. Elie, who is at the age of thirteen, is transported to Buchenwald with his father during the Holocaust at the time of Hitler’s reign. The book is based on the author’s real life experience as a child in 1946. The author gives details about the horrors that he goes through in the concentration camps which were used to imprison and later have people of Jewish origin killed. The author won the Nobel-Laureate in 1979 and has also written works of the same nature based on his experiences. Although the book was released ten years after the actual occurrence, the author’s emotions offer a perfectly intrinsic, first-hand view of the actual events of the Nazi-ruled era (Wiesel, 1960).
Through the severe starvation beatings he endures in the camp, Elie goes through intense emotional and religious struggles as he tries to care for his ailing father trying to survive in the conditions in the concentration camps. The author describes the moves he and his family were forced to make as they tried to stay away from the Nazi terror, their capture, separation from and subsequent death of most of his family members (Wiesel, 1960).
Although having been forewarned by his instructor, Moshe, of the impending danger posed by Nazi aggressors based on his recent encounters, Elie and his family remain calm even as they are transported from Romania to a Jewish concentration camp in Buchenwald. The subsequent three days on route to the camp, though marked with severe beatings and lack of food, do nothing to prepare them for the third night when huge flames from large oven like structures are accompanied by the stench of burning human flesh. Elie becomes shocked and dismayed as he watches young children and infants being tossed in fiery pits which in turn stir in him, feelings of rebellion against God, whom he considers to have abandoned him. In a sad twist, his father succumbs and dies as a result of a cruel beating, starvation, and dysentery just after they are rescued by American humanitarian forces.
Through the author’s narration of his trials, a reader gains a feeling of great belief that he/she should dedicate him/herself to higher concerns than laughing and joking. The book also offers a firm grasp of the spiritual matters that the author had to overcome such as that involving the belief in God that would allow such cruelty to happen to His people. The author’s views are portrayed in a frankness grounded on an immature set of values which further deepens the setting of the book. The author does, however, manage to keep the book unsentimental as he describes images of his separation from his mother and sister up to his father’s death and the gut wrenching feelings of guilty relief he got at his death (Wiesel, 1960).
The book affectively depicts to the reader an understanding of what the Jewish holocaust victims experienced and the author’s honest descriptions offer the reader a grasp of the unimaginable things that happened during the cruel Nazi rule. The book offers a human element to the historical literature found in libraries, as the author manages to evoke physical, spiritual and emotional feelings in the reader to accompany the hard cold facts of the selection of able bodied young men for labor as well as the executions through gas chambers and crematoria (Wiesel, 1960).
Although the author does not make use of any scholarly or educational material, the book describes facts which have been written down throughout historical accounts from survivors of the era as well as provides an inside look into humanity’s trying times and offers a quick reminder of the colossal human disaster that could occur if the world falls in the hands of a tyrant who evokes feeling of superiority over other people in any way.