Night by Elie Wiesel

July 31, 2012

Night Critical Review

After having read the book Night by Elie Wiesel I give it a 3 out of 5 because it shows the relationship between nature and nurture of one boy as the concentration camps slowly change him. This book is a bit gruesome to read due to all the suffering and the most intriguing component of the whole book is the psychological aspect.

One of the things I thought was saddest in the book Night was the nature vs nurture concept. An example in the final pages of the book is how all those men fought over the bread and had no regard for family or friends. This showed that the concentration camp wasn’t just breaking there bodies, but it was reversing them back to a primeval state where the only objective is to survive. Because of this you can see how sad it is that they were able to take away someone’s humanity. In addition you sort of saw this change in the main character. This was shown when he wrote that he hated God when he used to be a highly religious young boy, and how he used to love his father but began to see him as dead weight towards the end of his life. Therefore the readers learn how these concentration camps took away a man’s morals. This dynamic was one of the best that made the book great.

One of the challenges I had reading this book was plowing through the more gruesome parts of the book such as the part where he saw those dead corpses. That whole time period was gruesome with thousands getting killed. So you can understand my difficulty reading about several people being stripped and murdered. In addition reading about the main character being tortured disgusted me. The fact that he was near our age made it even more disturbing to read. Can you imagine being asked to march for miles in Germany during the winter, only being able to stop when the guards were tired or else you would die from being trampled or shot? Honestly this is the only reason why I did not give this book a much higher review.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the book Night is it shows all the psychological problems. For example how so many people wilted into a somewhat primeval state due to fear where they gave up relationships and many became sad beasts towards the end hurting their own family members for bread. You get to see how the main character struggled to stay strong while seeing all this panic and chaos break loose around him. Because of this he tries to stay strong for his father and many others until the time when they are free once more. In addition the book shows not only the prisoners’ psychological effect but it also shows the soldiers’ psyches. As shown in the book when he first shows up at the camp one of the soldiers tells him to say that he is older than he actually is trying to save him and his father from the furnace right off the bat. Therefore the reader can understand it wasn’t just monsters running the camps, but there were some good people that were forced to cause all that suffering. After having read this book one of the most interesting parts was the psyche and it certainly had a great deal of effect on my score of this book.

Overall I thought that Night was an interesting book that allowed you to get a glimpse at the past and see all the emotions and changes in a young boy who at the end of the story was barely older than me. This book is very hard to push through at times, but is very deserving of a 3 out of 5 and is a thoughtful autobiography that allows you to glimpse into the human mind.

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