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What is the relationship between the themes in Night and Dawn by Elie Wiesel?

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jacksonspancakes | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 15, 2012 at 8:47 PM via web

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What is the relationship between the themes in Night and Dawn by Elie Wiesel?

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

Posted August 15, 2012 at 10:55 PM (Answer #1)

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If Night was about Wiesel's struggle to exist in the Holocaust, Dawn could be seen about the struggle that exists in the post- Holocaust world.  One common theme in both works is how one makes sense of the cruelty intrinsic to the Holocaust.  Eliezer fights to survive, wondering in the back recesses of his mind how what is happening could happen.  Elisha is the logical product of survival.  The feelings of anger and retribution that he wrestles with is are indicative of how one struggles to understand the Holocaust.  In both works, the theme of struggling to appropriate that which lies outside the articulation of words is evident.  Both works feature the themes of how life and death converge in the name of political reality.  At the same time, both works demonstrate the struggle intrinsic to consciousness and how human cruelty plays a role in forming this consciousness.  Both works are linked thematically in the idea that one is the initator of the other, and that both show how the Holocaust causes a great deal of struggle in terms of making sense and seeking to understand that which lies beyond human comprehension.

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