What topic could be chosen for an essay about both The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman, and Night by Elie Wiesel?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the themes that most saliently represent the horrors that Antonia and Elie experience under the Nazi rule is the loss of the natural innocence of childhood. While this is a prevailing topic in Elie Wiesel’s Night, in The Zookeeper’s Wife is seen more subtlety, yet with equally heart wrenching consequences.

While Elie had to endure by himself seeing his world vanish away, in The Zookeper’s Wife, Antonia experiences the horrid experience of seeing her own son, Rhys, lose his own chances of a normal childhood when he experiences the killing of the zoo animals, when he witnesses the soldiers’ raids and the mass- shootings of people. In Zookeeper’s Wife, there is also the sad moment when an SS soldier shoots the poor orphan boys that attempted to escape from being sent to the death camps. In essence, both novels feature very similar themes, but the topic of the loss of innocence is salient as perhaps the saddest of them all.

Hence, a good topic sentence for an essay could be that the Holocaust novels Night by Elie Wiesel, and The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman both present in different ways, but with a similar degree of importance, the sad topic of the loss of innocence through the horrors of war.