Night Questions and Answers
by Elie Wiesel

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Discuss what Elie's description of his father in Night reveals about his needs and hopes. Is this type of father and son relationship typical? Why?

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Elie's perspective of his father in Chapter 1 of the memoir is that his dad is rather removed from his family; he is emotionally absent. When Elie discusses the possibility of studying Jewish Cabbalism, Elie's father basically scoffs at the idea.  He still sees Elie as a child even as Elie is trying to assert himself as a young adult. Elie longs for his father's approval, but he also has strong spiritual hopes; in fact, he is almost ethereally optimistic at the memoir's beginning, while his father is practical and realistic.

I personally think that Elie's relationship with his father is typical of father-son relationships, especially when a father has only one son.  The son longs for his father's approval, while the father withholds it because he wants his son to grow up and become a strong man.

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