Night Questions and Answers
by Elie Wiesel

Night book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How does Elie Wiesel describe his father in Night?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,194 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Elie's father is presented by his son as a respected member of the Jewish community in Sighet. However, like many in positions of authority, he doesn't pay serious attention to the imminent threat posed by the Germans. Nevertheless, once he's been deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, he's completely disabused of all his illusions. No longer an optimist, Shlomo becomes physically and psychologically weaker as a result of his brutal treatment in the camp. The roles of father and son become completely reversed; it is Elie who must be strong for his father as he declines day by day. In this desperate fight for survival, Shlomo comes to seem almost a burden to his son. Yet at the same time his presence prevents Elie from selfishness, from succumbing to the law of the jungle.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

kathik eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write398 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Early in Night, Elie Wiesel describes his father as someone who seems to care about others in the community more than his family. Wiesel writes,

"My father was a cultured, rather unsentimental man. There was never any display of emotion, even at home. He was more concerned with others than with his own family." (Wiesel 2)

Elie's father was a no-nonsense kind of man--someone who was very respected in the community of Sighet, where they lived before the Nazis came. The Wiesels had a shop where Elie's parents and sisters worked, but Elie was required to go to school. When Mr. Wiesel was not working, he was attending to matters in the village.

Later, Elie's father becomes a shadow of his former self. The constant torment in the camps beats him down, and he becomes very weak. He is no longer the strong man Elie knew before they were imprisoned. This is one of the hardest things for Elie to witness--the breaking of his father.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

devin31green | Student

A cultured man, unsentimental; more involved with others more than his family.