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The Relationship between Eliezer and his Father. Explain how Eliezer's relations with his father changes throughout the novel - Essay Example

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The author strategically centers the story on the relationship that existed between the son and the father in the journeying Jewish family. It is s story that reflects on Eliezer and…
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The Relationship between Eliezer and his Father. Explain how Eliezers relations with his father changes throughout the novel
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The Relationship between Eliezer and his Father A family’s journey through the holocaust is the main story in the novel Night by Elie Wiesel. The author strategically centers the story on the relationship that existed between the son and the father in the journeying Jewish family. It is s story that reflects on Eliezer and his father and how the two perceived and related with one another especially to going through torture. They were both horrified and pushed to their limits. It is this torture that seems to have changed a father-son relationship from what is normally expected of such a relationship in the contemporary world to one that is based on mutual protection, devotion to one another and great love. The relationship however did not start as strong as it ended. The novel demonstrates the changes in how the two related through various experiences.
Their initial relationship is first presented at the beginning of the book. The father is not so much concerned about his son’s education or desires. When Eliezer wishes to study the Cabbala, he requests his father if he could get a master to guide him. Although we know that his father could have done it, he discourages Eliezer saying that "You must first study the basic subjects within your own understanding." (Wiesel 2) This is said without even his father being moved away from his own businesses, an indication that he was not willing to help Eliezer on his desires whether personally or by looking for a master to guide Eliezer.
Despite his father’s refusal to help him, Eliezer disobeyed even his advice to first study the basic subjects before undertaking the Cabbala. Eliezer took the matter as a personal initiative and even found himself a master, Moishe the Beadle, to guide him (Wiesel 4). In the first sections of the book, we see a father-son relationship that is cold and filled with mistrust. Eliezer wanted to do so much, but the father did not support him. Many a times, he was forced to disobey and do things on his own especially on realization that his father disapproved of his religious pursuits.
As father and son move from their comfortable home into the concentration camps, a sharp turn of events occur. In the new environment, dependence on trusted individuals is a treasure. There is an observable rapid development in their relationship and a closeness that was not originally there is seen. The development starts with a familial separation. The two were separated from Eliezer’s mother and sister and Eliezer, having been relatively independent of his father from the start becomes a strong fighter. He, however, notices his father’s weaknesses and became worried about him.
He is caring for his father and always wants to be certain of his well-being. Although the situation does not allow him to physically react, he is in pain when his father is beaten by the gypsy. “…My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked… Only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into the criminals flesh. Had I changed that much? So fast?” (Wiesel 39). As time passes in the concentration camp, the father grows physically weaker as the son grows stronger. Their love and devotion to one another strengthen and they become inseparable physically and emotionally. "My fathers presence was the only thing that stopped me... I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me? I was his only support." (Wiesel 82) Their relationship had taken a turn and they needed one another more than anything.
In conclusion, the highs and lows of a father-son relationship are seen in the novel. Events and experience are seen as the most important factors that made the father and the son realize how much they need one another. When they took care of one another, they were relieved and felt devoted. This was in contrast to the relationship the two had before the journey, in which each of them did not bother to listen or help the other. Eliezer, however, is seen as the compassionate one who is ready to let go of previous wrongs and do good to his father.
Works cited
Wiesel, Elie, and Marion Wiesel. Night. , 2011. Accessed on: February 13, 2015. Web. Read More
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