This essay reviews the text Night by Elie Wiesel with respect to innocence and predicaments. The paper will give a summary of the occurrences in the book paying special attention to innocence. The effect of making assumptions with regard to making some decisions is also brought to light. An argument will be developed whether one should have ‘hope’ as one of the factors in making decisions where strategic interests are at stake.
The author has structured the book in a simple language which is quite easy to understand. He narrates a historical event which led to the massacre of millions of Jews. The author starts by giving the background setting to the incident. The author a third born lives with his family of three siblings. Among the siblings, he is the only male. He describes his father as a public figure who is always ready to and always giving instruction on both public as well as private issues. The setting depicts the family especially the father and the son as people who fervently trust God. At the begging the trust of the author is seen when he writes about God giving answers which he does not understand because those answers are generated from deep within the soul (Wiesel p. 2).
The dad is also seen telling the son that he (the father) prays that he may ask God the right questions (Wiesel p. 3). After reading through the book, a reader can not help but ask questions. One can say that this is a book about asking questions. But the question to ask is, are they the right questions? There are a host of questions one may want to bring on board, for instance, was it the mistake of the Jews to have underestimated the hatred and capability of the Germany leader? One may argue that the innocence of the Jews was what might have led to their predicament. They never thought Hitler could do what he did and therefore he took advantage of the situation to trick them (Wiesel p. 3).
Does the issue of trust surface here? Or can it be said that the Jews were just victims of circumstances? Looking at the description of the concentration camp, it will be possible to say that they were really victims of circumstances. At the camp the author narrates very inhumane treatments taking place. The author writes, “that night the soup tasted of corpses” (Wiesel p. 62). That is not a very stomaching statement, is it? The author further writes about the massacre describing it as the shadow which the Psalmist (the Bible) talks about taking on substance not just once but six million times (p. VI).
This book brings up multiple moral questions. The author survives the shadow but one is left asking after experiencing such extreme brutality what is left in the heart of the author? What is left of the author having gone through such horrific experiences? What is more threatening, surviving the shadow of death or just being taken by it and all goes? Before answering the question, look at the suffering undergone by the author- degradation, loss of family, loss of faith and at last he losses the semblance of humanity.
It must be appreciated that from the beginning of the text, the author was never prepared psychologically for such an ending. It can therefore be said that his innocence acted as catapult upon which he is pushed to the extreme condition we see him at the end. He was never ready for such an ending and finds himself in a hard place having survived all the horrific experiences. It should however be noted that the circumstances as depicted in the text were extreme.