The Faith to Persevere: A Theme of Night

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Introduction

How much faith and confidence can we place in the scripture of Hebrews 11:1, now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (BibleGateway)? How much faith is necessary for practically blind confidence and optimism for the future? In Wiesel’s book Night, unwavering faith is the final bulwark against submission to the Nazi’s inhumanity and murderous tendencies. Mr. Wiesel perseveres through the darkest of times when the future may have seemed bleak and his life teetering at the mercy of death.

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He perseveres due to his seemingly unshakable Jewish faith, despite moments of doubt. Elie Wiesel emotionally conveys the unbreakable bond of faith in face of numerous, insurmountable adversities in his novel, Night, through the use of intense internal conflict, poignant personifications, and deep, emotional symbolism.

Internal Conflict

Wiesel utilizes the concept of intense internal conflict between himself and his faith to vividly express the theme. While being in a concentration camp, Wiesel is questioning his once solid faith in God. He questions his faith by emotionally asking many impossible questions about God, he says, Why, but why would I bless Him?… He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves?… Because he kept six crematoria working day and night, including Sabbath and the Holy Days? (Wiesel 67). Wiesel spends so much of his short life abiding by his Jewish faith hoping that God would protect him, but God now places him in Hell on Earth. Naturally, it is human to question their protectors when they let them down. This terrible nightmare possesses the ability to shake the faith of any person, religious or not. This scene also highlights the major transition undergone by Mr. Wiesel with regard to his religiousness. Before he was in the iron grasps of the Nazis, he was devoutly religious. Wiesel, at the tender age of thirteen, was already reading the Talmud nightly, weeps while praying and compares it to living and breathing. Also, Wiesel says how emotional he gets to the historical events of the destruction of the Temple and the suffering of his Jewish forefathers.

In addition, he wants to study Kabbalah, a concept that only Jews at the age of thirty can explore and study. It is not until he arrives at Birkenau he starts feeling this terrible loneliness; this abandonment by God. Despite these feelings, he stills prays. When being inspected by an SS Officer he so eloquently calls the Angel of Death, he says prayers of thankfulness when the officer notices nothing glaring at him. This scene, while showing thankfulness of God’s grace, wholeheartedly supports the theme of perseverance through faith. The theme is demonstrated by these actions through the fact that God gave him the strength to persevere,

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