How did luck play a role in Night?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I don't think that the conception of luck in Wiesel's work is a benevolent or positive force.  It is not one that Wiesel openly attributes as something beneficial to survival.  I think that it might be more of "randomness," or the sense of the arbitrary that enabled Wiesel to live through his struggle while so many others died.  This is not to say that Wiesel did not benefit from some type of external force, be it luck or divine, that helped him live.  Yet, I don't think it is something that the narrative presents as a type of benevolent or uplifting force that "saved" him.  For example, it is luck that when he is separated from his mother and sister, he is told to say he is eighteen years old.  If he had stayed with his mother and sister, it is presumed that he would have perished.  The luck factor in someone, a random person, telling him to say he is of age enabled him to live.  Another luck factor would be the fact that Eliezer approaches death so many times, but does not fall victim to it.  He is beaten by Idek on several occasions, but one time in particular is intensely brutal, requiring some type of medical intervention.  When the girl tends to his wounds, it is an example of luck, for he could have been left in a forlorn state to die, but some type of external help was given without any control from himself.  Death is something that is so evident and so apparent throughout Eliezer's ordeal that to simply evade its grasp is representative of luck.  In this, luck can be seen as important in Eliezer's survival.


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