Night Questions and Answers
by Elie Wiesel

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Why was Elie angry with his father when Idek beat him in Night?  

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Idek, their "Kapo" or work commander, is a little off-balance mentally, and those who live and work in Elie's unit quickly learn to stay out of his way.  In Chapter 4, prior to the scene where Idek beats Elie's dad, Idek has previously beaten Elie -- essentially for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Thus, Elie knows how easily Idek can be provoked.  

When his dad is, likewise, beaten, Elie is upset at his dad for failing to avoid Idek in the first place.  Elie Wiesel (the author) likely included this passage to show just how much imprisonment had changed Elie and the others.  As he writes, "I was angry with him, for not knowing how to avoid Idek's outbreak.  This is what concentration camp life had made of me" (roughly the middle of Chapter 4; Page 52 in my version of the text).

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ladypalutena | Student

In Section Four of "Night," Elie receives a beating from the Kapo, Idek, for no apparent reason. Later on in the section, Elie's father falls victim to the same Kapo. Elie does not feel any anger at Idek during this situation, but instead feels anger at his own father for not being able to avoid Idek's rage. His father should have been able to dodge the fury, avoid it in any way possible, but, being as old as he is and as weak as he is, he does not have the strength to avoid Idek. 

Elie's anger at his father instead of at Idek shows how much being in a concentration camp has changed him. He is no longer concerned with protecting others; he is only looking out for himself from now on.