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Wiesel?s Night is about what the Holocaust did, not just to the Jews, but, by extension, to humanity. The disturbing disregard for human beings, or the human body itself, still to this day, exacerbates fear in the hearts of men and women. The animalistic act by the Nazis has scarred mankind eternally with abhorrence and discrimination; as a result, acts of bigotry continue to infest society into the 21st century.

It seems impossible that the examination of one?s health, by a doctor, can result in the death of a human being if he appears unhealthy. Elie, his father, and millions of other Jews go through this formidable selection. It?s a process that is dreaded and feared by all Jews. Nobody knows who will be “selected,” and how he will die, as they all line up and wait to see who lives and who doesn?t.

In a similar fashion, many different “selections” exist in society today. For instance at Durfee High School, three thousand students are divided into various groups. They are placed in these various categories because of their clothing, attitude, intelligence, nationality, and athletic ability. There are the preps, the freaks, the gangsters, the skaters, the jocks, the nerds, the Americans, the Portuguese, the Africans, the Cambodians, the Hispanics, the Puerto Ricans, the Japanese, and the Chinese. Everyone in the world is a part of some selection, whether it?s for political views, wealth, or lack thereof.

The brutality of the Holocaust drives many to abandon a family member or loved one. For example, when the son of Rabbi Eliahou sees his father losing ground, limping, and falling to the rear of the column, he continues to run on, growing distant from his father. The son feels as if his father can no longer go on anymore. Elie?s feelings are mutual, for his father is taking him for granted. He is like a metal weight attached to Elie?s foot by a rope. Sooner or later, Elie must cut himself free, or else he won?t survive either.

Nowadays, we see this abandonment in pregnant teenagers who are not ready for a child just yet. A girl throws her baby in a dumpster because she knows she can?t

support a child right now, for that child will just weigh her down as Elie?s father did to him. The girl won?t be able to enjoy the rest of her childhood, or the baby might even prevent her from finishing her schooling. The teenager abandons her baby, so she can survive, as does Elie with his father.

At the conclusion of the novel, Elie Wiesel is no longer Elie Wiesel. He has become a shell or a body with no spirit or soul. He is a piece of driftwood that has floated through the ocean of hatred, violence, and discrimination and has assimilated all that could be absorbed. Elie is left with no emotions and many questions: Is there a God? If so, how could he let this happen? Why did he let this happen? To this day, Elie Wiesel questions the existence of God.

As I look into the mirror, I see a young adult, one who has turned away from a bigoted-based fight in school or from a group of kids making fun of another child. I see an individual who hasn?t always done the right thing or been perfect throughout his lifetime, but I also see one of determination and success in the future. I?m driving a Mac truck and nothing can stop me, not even a few prejudicial “bumps” in the road.


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