What parts of the plot seem related to a possible theme in the novel Night?

In Night, the plot points of the overall struggles of concentration camp life and the specific relationship Elie has with his father grapple with the theme of individual survival overcoming all else, including family bonds.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Although several themes could be applied to the complexities of Night, one of Wiesel's focuses is the innate drive for individual survival above all emotions and relationships in life-or-death situations.

The horrors of concentration camp life assert this truth. One of the most poignant events illustrating the annihilation of...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Although several themes could be applied to the complexities of Night, one of Wiesel's focuses is the innate drive for individual survival above all emotions and relationships in life-or-death situations.

The horrors of concentration camp life assert this truth. One of the most poignant events illustrating the annihilation of family bonds is the struggle over bread in chapter 7. A father hides a piece under his shirt, and his own son kills him over the piece. Blinded by his own need for survival, the son takes no notice of his father's pleas. The father cries, "Meir! Don't you recognize me...You're killing your father...I have bread...for you too" (101).

Elie's own relationship with his father also demonstrates Elie's personal drive for survival. At the beginning of chapter 3, when they first arrive in Auschwitz, Elie does everything he can to stay with his father, and their bond remains through most of the memoir. They help each other and support each other through beatings, hunger, sickness, and deportation. However, toward the end of the memoir, when Elie's father needs him most, Elie refuses to answer him. He states, "He [Elie's father] continued to call me. The officer wielded his club and dealt him a violent blow to the head. I didn't move" (111). Out of the base need to survive himself, Elie remains still even though he knows that his father is close to death.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team