How does Elie Wiesel's Night explore dehumanization?
Wiesel's Night depicts a side of human existence that most would not want to witness. However, what Wiesel's work does is bring philosophy and ethics into the study of the Holocaust. The book is one of the most stinging repudiations of the Holocaust ever put onto paper. The moments in the book where the horror of the Nazis are on display remain some of the most compelling instances that seek to galvanize individuals to stand apart from the actions of the aggressors. However, where Wiesel is at his best is when he is able to explore the nature of dehumanization as not something that remained with the Nazis. Wiesel shows that the profound sadness of the Holocaust was how it dehumanized everyone. Perpetrator and target alike were rendered voiceless. In showing that both target and perpetrator are capable of inflicting pain upon others, Wiesel's work makes a very profound statement about who we are as human beings and what we must overcome in order to avoid being part of the machinery of evil. In reading Night, one must be ready to accept the rigorous challenge of self-reflection regarding the world and one's place in it. This is what makes Night such an important book: in a world where voice is still being silenced both politically and personally, the work can be seen as even more sadly relevant.