Themes room the basic and often universal ideasexplored in a literarywork.

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Eliezer’s battle to Maintain confidence in a Benevolent God

Eliezer’s struggle with his confidence is a leading conflictin Night. In ~ the start of the work, his faithin God is absolute. As soon as asked why that prays to God, that answers,“Why did i pray? . . . Why did i live? Why did ns breathe?” His beliefin an omnipotent, benevolent God is unconditional, and also he cannotimagine living without faith ina divine power. But this belief isshaken by his experience throughout the Holocaust.

Initially, Eliezer’s confidence is a product the his studiesin Jewish mysticism, which teach him the God is everywhere in theworld, the nothing exist without God, the in reality everythingin the physical civilization is one “emanation,” or reflection, the the divineworld. In other words, Eliezer has grown up believing that everythingon planet reflects God’s holiness and power. His confidence is groundedin the idea that God is everywhere, every the time, that his divinitytouches every aspect of his day-to-day life. Because God is good, his studiesteach him, and also God is anywhere in the world, the civilization must thereforebe good.

Eliezer’s belief in the quality of the world is irreparablyshaken, however, by the cruelty and evil he witnesses throughout theHolocaust. He can not imagine the the concentration camps’ unbelievable,disgusting cruelty might possibly reflect divinity. He wonders howa benevolent God might be component of such depravity and also how an omnipotentGod could permit such cruelty to take place. His faith is equallyshaken by the cruelty and also selfishness the sees amongst the prisoners.If every the detainees were to hold together to protest the cruel oppressionof the Nazis, Eliezer believes, then perhaps he might understand theNazi menace together an evil aberration. He would then have the ability to maintainthe belief that mankind is basically good. Yet he look at thatthe Holocaust exposes the selfishness, evil, and also cruelty of i beg your pardon everybody—notonly the Nazis, but additionally his other prisoners, his other Jews,even himself—is capable. If the human being is therefore disgusting and cruel,he feels, climate God either have to be disgusting and also cruel or must notexist in ~ all.

Though this realization appears to annihilate his faith,Eliezer manages to retain few of this belief throughout his experiences.At certain moments—during his first night in the camp and duringthe hanging that the pipel—Eliezer does grapple withhis faith, however his struggle must not be confused with a completeabandonment the his faith. This battle doesn’t lessen his beliefin God; rather, that is necessary to the presence of the belief.When Moishe the Beadle is asked why the prays, that replies, “I prayto the God in ~ me that He will provide me the toughness to questioning Himthe ideal questions.” In various other words, questioning isfundamental to the idea of faith in God. The Holocaust forces Eliezerto ask dreadful questions about the nature of an excellent and angry andabout whether God exists. But the really fact the he asks these questionsreflects his meeting toGod.

Discussing his own experience, Wiesel when wrote, “Myanger rises up within faith and not outside it.” Eliezer’s strugglereflects together a sentiment. Just in the lowest moments the his faithdoes he rotate his earlier on God. Indeed, even when Eliezer states thathe has offered up ~ above God completely, Wiesel’s continuous use of religiousmetaphors undercuts what Eliezer states he believes. Eliezer evenrefers come biblical passages when he denies his faith. Once he fearsthat he can abandon his father, that prays to God, and, after hisfather’s death, he expresses regret that there to be no religiousmemorial. At the finish of the book, even though he has been foreverchanged by his Holocaust experience, Eliezer emerges v his faithintact.

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In one of Night’s most well known passages,Eliezer states, “Never shall ns forget that nocturnal quiet whichdeprived me, for all eternity, that the desire to live.” it is theidea of God’s silence the he finds most troubling, as this descriptionof an event at Buna reveals: as the Gestapo hangs a young boy, aman asks, “Where is God?” yet the only response is “otal silencethroughout the camp.” Eliezer and also his companions are left come wonderhow an all-knowing, all-powerful God can permit such horror andcruelty to occur, particularly to together devout worshipers. The existenceof this horror, and the lack of a divine response, forever shakesEliezer’s belief in God.

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