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What is the moral/lesson in the book Night?

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noobcakes4603 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:24 AM via web

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What is the moral/lesson in the book Night?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 12, 2012 at 8:48 AM (Answer #1)

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In Elie Wiesel's novella Night the moral lesson which is overwhelmingly evident is that of not giving up.

Throughout the novella, many of the characters struggle with the deplorable conditions, the physical and mental abuse, and lack of faith in God while in the concentration camps.

Given the explicit details provided in the novel, readers can easily see how the characters in the story began to (and did) lose faith in God, mankind, and the ability to survive. Over the course of the novella, Eliezer and his father struggle repeatedly. Readers can (at times when fully engaged) feel their pain and some may question how God allowed something so horrible to happen.

In the end, although a drastically changed person, Eliezel survived. After the abuse, the fears, the loss of emotion and religion, Eliezel survived; Eliezel never gave up (completely).

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 19, 2014 at 6:52 PM (Answer #2)

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Arguably one of the most persistent themes in Night is resilience. When a group or an individual is chased down and attacked merely based on their assumptions regarding that group or individual, those who are being chased have two choices: give in, or stand their ground. 

During WWII, particularly during the Nazi years of terror, the persecution of the Jews put the faith and belief system of anyone to the test. Jews and Christians alike were shown how evil the human race can become. Even in the novel there is talk of how the Jews put God on trial and, using the word "chayav" they declared Him to be guilty. 

Yet despite of the horrors and the lapses in faith the people maintained their identity and learned to suffer and endure the terrors that they encountered...together. They may have felt abandoned by God and their fellow men, but never did they cease to feel less Jewish, nor less of a community. In fact, the pain, the persecution and the suffering delineated them as a separate group who was being victimized unfairly by the evil machinations of a sick group of men. To this day, it is the holocaust what unfortunately defines the extent to which this one group was chased and discriminated against. It is true that, at times, the pain and suffering that one undergoes builds the character that others lack, and what makes you different than the rest. It is perhaps this dark and horrid period in history what has made Jews stand out in whatever way from other groups. This adherence to personal cause and personal ground is what resilience is all about. We do not break just because others want us to. We need not deny nor reject who and what we are just because others do not agree. The moral of the novel is that we are who we are despite of whatever comes against us and, sooner or later, those who attempt against who we are will learn that they are the ones who are abhorrent and unnatural for rejecting other members of the same human race. 

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