How is trust shown between the father and the son in Night by Elie Wiesel?

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Although Eliezer’s relationship with his father deteriorates the longer they are together in the concentration camps, there is a degree of trust between them.

One early way this is shown is in Birkenau, when the Gypsy hits Shlomo powerfully in the face after the man asks where the toilets are. Eliezer, petrified and enraged that he did not react, is reassured by his father, who turns to his son and whispers, “It doesn’t hurt.” This shows that Shlomo knows his son well, and he knows what to say in order to comfort Eliezer. Although Eliezer clearly sees his father is lying, he also recognizes this gesture as one of kindness.

A second example that shows the trust between Eliezer and his father comes when they are in Auschwitz. Shlomo reassures his son, saying that his mother “must be in a labor camp” along with Tzipora, who is “a big girl now.” Eliezer recognizes this as a lie, but he indulges his father in order to keep their spirits up. This shows trust because the father and son are relying on each other to survive mentally.

Another example occurs at Buna when Franek wants Eliezer’s gold crown. Although Eliezer wants to immediately give up his crown in order to avoid Franek’s ire, Shlomo says, “No, my son. We cannot do this.” Eliezer resists Franek’s threats and torture of Shlomo, who cannot march properly, all because of his father’s advice. This shows that Eliezer still sees his father as an authority figure and trusts his judgment.

Each of these examples, and more, throughout the text shows that Eliezer trusts and loves his father, even when he becomes annoyed that he is responsible for caring for the aging, ailing man.

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