Night By Elie Wiesel
There are many themes in the novel Night, by Elie Wiesel; some of these include
loss of faith, father-son relationships, food and hunger, and disbelief. One of
the most interesting theme is the father-son relationship. This theme can be
seen throughout the novel with many fathers and sons. Elie has a very strong
relationship with his father. His main reason for not giving up in the camps is
so his father is not alone. Some kinships are not like Eliešs and his fatheršs.

One son purposely loses his father so that he does not burden him and another
son beats and kills his own father just for food. Father and son relationships
can be seen in many parts in Night and takes a very large roll in the novel. One
of the relationships between fathers and sons that demonstrate the compassion
for one another, not cruelty, is the relationship between Elie and his father.

During the march to Gleiwitz, Elie thinks he can no longer go on with this
horrible ordeal but decides he will keep on going for his father. Eliešs
inspiration during the endless march is his father. "My fatheršs presence
was the only thing that stopped meŠHe was running at my side, out of breath, at
the end of his strength, at his witšs end. I had no right to let myself die.

What would he do without me? I was his only support" (82). Their
relationship is so strong that is actually gives Elie a reason to keep on living
through this novel. Some relationships are not as pleasant as Eliešs with his
father. Elie talks about a son and his father, a Rabbi, who intentionally loses
his father during the march to Gleiwitz. "A terrible thought loomed up in
my mind: he had wanted to get rid of his father! He had felt that his father was
growing weak, he had believed that the end was near and had sought this
separation in order to get rid of the burden, to free himself from an
encumbrance which could lessen his own chances of survival" (87). When Elie
realizes what has happened between the Rabbi and his son, it is very disturbing
to him and he prays for strength that he never does this to his father. In these
camps, survival was so difficult that it is not unusual for people to become
self-centered. During the train ride to Buchenwald a very disturbing situation
happens between a father and son. Workmen were throwing pieces of bread inside
the wagons just to see the prisoners fight over the food. While they are doing
this, an old man comes across a piece of bread and sneaks away from the mob of
people, but the man does not go unnoticed. Someone threw himself on top of the
old man and begins to hit him for the bread. While this is happening, the old
man screams out "Meir. Meir, my boy! Donšt you recognize me? Išm your
fatherŠyoušre hurting meŠyoušre killing your father! Išve got some breadŠfor
you tooŠfor you tooŠ" (97). The other person killed his own father just
for some food that his father was going to give him anyway. During the

Holocaust, food was so scarce that a son would kill his own father just for some
more food. The relationship between fathers and sons is a very important theme
in Night. It can be the inspiration for survival but for others, survival for
themselves costs them their relationship. This theme shows how cruel human
beings can be. With the son beating and killing his own father, or the son
abandoning his father so that he does not have to deal with him anymore. This
theme can also show the beauty of the relationship, with Eliešs father being
the reason Elie keeps on marching on their way to Gleiwitz. The Holocaust can
change the way people are, very dramatically, making them very cruel and
selfish.