How is Elie more courageous than his father, Shlomo, in the memoir Night?

Expert Answers
nanmarc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Elie and Shlomo Wiesel endured a multitude of unspeakable horrors, and comparing one person's courage to that of another within the framework of the Holocaust seems a bit unfair. I will list a few examples below in which Elie demonstrates courage, as well as a few examples in which Shlomo demonstrates courage, and this should be of aid as you undertake the task of comparing the two men.

Examples in which Elie demonstrates courage:

  • Chooses to undertake death march from Buna to Gleiwitz with an injured foot
  • Risks his life to sneak his father onto the right train (toward safety) in Gleiwitz
  • Protects his father's food rations when Shlomo is dying of dysentery
  • Survives the Holocaust and writes a memoir of his painful story

Examples in which Shlomo demonstrates courage:

  • Instructs his son in survival and offers encouraging sentiments
  • Gives his knife and spoon (the only family property) to Elie when he is chosen for the death group in Buna
  • Endures brutal death march from Buna to Gleiwitz in a weak state
  • Endures beatings by Nazi officers and by fellow prisoners