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What is unusual about Wiesel's use of this allusion?
"Calvary is the hill outside ancient Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified"
Explain whether or not the allusion is effective.
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The allusion is unusual because Elie Wiesel is a Jewish writer. Jews do not accept the Christian doctrine that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. For a Jew to make an allusion to Jesus is to step outside the typical boundaries of the Jewish faith.
It is also somewhat ironic, because much of the persecution that the Jewish people have faced over the centuries can be attributed to Christians who blame the Jews for the death of Jesus.
However, Wiesel does not make moral judgments about religion in the book Night. While he does make frequent mention of specific Jewish texts and holy days, he does not blame Christians for the fate of the Jews in the Holocaust. The book directs blame at Adolf Hitler, but actually only mentions him on a few occasions. The real focus is on people in general and the evil of which they are capable in certain situations.
The allusion is effective in the sense that Wiesel is transcending the limits of one religious tradition to relate to the traditions of another faith.