What are comparisons and contrastings of Okonkwo in Things Fall ApartĀ and Eliezer in Night by Elie Wiesel and examples of each?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Okonkwo and Elie Wiesel become disillusioned with life. Okonkwo loses his faith in his clan. The clan is not willing to go to war; therefore, Okonkwo becomes disillusioned. He gives up on his tribesmen. He realizes that there will be no battle against the white man who has come in to control and change his tribesmen. As a result of disillusionment, he hangs himself.

Elie Wiesel too becomes disillusioned in life. He loses his faith in God:

'Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my Soul and turned my dreams to dust.' But such moments passed and his argument is in keeping with Hasidism. Rather, his alteration takes this form, 'I no longer accepted God's silence.'

He realizes that God is not fighting his battle. He becomes despondent and utterly hopeless. He gives up all hope after losing his family in the concentration camps.

Both Okonkwo and Wiesel lose faith. They both become utterly hopeless. They see no change from the way outsiders have come to control each of them. There is nothing to live for. There seems to be no end to their misery.

The key difference in Okonkwo's and Wiesel's outlook is the end result. Okonkwo hangs himself. Wiesel is finally released from the concentration camps but not before losing all of his family members to death.

Both men feel totally rejected. There is a common thread of utter hopelessness. However, each man deals with his loss of faith in different ways.

Okonkwo takes his own life. Wiesel lives to write about the horrors of the concentration camps.