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Edge of Death

Death is heavily portrayed in the book, titled Night, by Elie Wiesel. Throughout the book Wiesel describes the terror and the horrifying moments of the concentration camp as it affected him. Eliezer had many near death experiences, but each time that he was at the edge of death there was always a door open for him to escape the black shadow. There were many people that did not make it, but Weisel did escape and apart of what endeavored him to live was his father. For Wiesel his determination to live was for his father. He thought to himself What would he do without me? I was his only support (82). Therefore Wiesel was afraid to be separated from the presence of his father.

Wiesel had a near death experience towards the beginning of the book and the end. On the first day at the camp when Wiesel and his father stepped out of the crowded train they perceived the flames filtering up from the ditch not far from them. They noticed that they were heading right towards the flames and the burning. His father even said, Humanity? Humanity is not concerned with us. Today anything is allowed. Anything is possible, even these crematories (30). Step by step they were coming closer and closer to the heat. Weisel was getting ready to run through the bare wires rather than to go through a slow agonizing death in the fire. But than all of the sudden two steps from the pit they were ordered to turn away and go to the barracks. That first night in the camp obliterated Wiesel the desire to live.

The next day Wiesel and his father were sent to the barbers to have their hair cut off including the hair on their body completely shaved off. During that time The same thought buzzed all the time in his head-not to be separated form his father (33). He knew that if he parted from his father neither would have any hope to live because both would always wonder if the other one alive but never know the truth. The thought of being separated from one another can destroy themselves, neither of the two would hope or desire to live on without knowing the existence of another. After knowing this Eliezer desired to live and never give up on life. On top of that he always thought about his father before himself.

Towards the end of the book in the month of January of 1945, Wiesel s right foot began to swell because of the cold. The Jewish doctor said he needed to have an operation. The operation had had went good but two days after that the doctor entered the hospital block and announced, Tomorrow, immediately after nightfall, the camp will be set out. Block after block. Patients will stay in the infirmary. They will not be evacuated (77). Weisel thought about this sharply and said to himself that there was no way the SS are going to leave the hospital blocks unevaluated. All of them will be killed shortly and sent out to the cemeteries. Therefore Wiesel said to himself, As for me, I was not thinking about death, but I did not want to be separated from my father. We had already suffered so much, borne so much together; this was not the time to be separated (78). He ran outside the hospital room looking for his father, without feeling any pain or cold in his right foot. This shows that even in his toughest, most difficult time he never gave up on life. Above his own life he thought of his father. Walking down forty-two in the snow Wiesel became tired and exhausted because of his painful foot.

Death was now taking over Wiesel s mind. Death wrapped itself around me till I was stifled. It stuck to me. I felt like I could touch it. The idea of dying, of no longer being, began to fascinate me. Not to exist any longer. Not to feel horrible pains pains in my foot. Not to feel the horrible pains on my foot. Not to feel anything, neither weariness, nor cold, nor anything. To break the ranks, to let oneself slide to the edge of the road (82). The only thing that stopped him from thinking about the dark side was the presence of his father running at the side of him. Wiesel s father was running out of breath and feeling very weak. I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me? I was his only support (82). Wiesel s concern for his father gave him the courage and the determination to keep moving in the cold even with his foot condition. His critical condition was no match for the love and affection for his father.

All throughout the book page after page, Wiesel never let his father go and he never let himself go either because of his father. Wiesel from the beginning of the camp till the end he made sure that his number one priority was to stay near at hand with his father. Furthermore as has father became weaker towards the end Wiesel not only tried not to be separated from him but also put his father s worry and concern before his. Father! I ve been looking for you for so long .Where were you? Did you sleep? How do you feel Have u had anything to eat (101)? Each questioned asked shows Wiesel sympathy and compassion for his father. His well being and comfort for his father. His love and devotion for his father. His fathers concern over his own. Wiesel was just a boy in the concentration camp yet he acted like a man whenever it came to his fathers needs. Overall Wiesel made his father proud.


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