A Response to “Night” by Elie Wiesel.
Humanity is questionable. Just like faith; whether it be in oneself or a God the lives beyond the walls of our comprehension. “Night” addresses the age-old questions of faith and humanity in a book less than one hundred and fifty pages. Yet, the questions are never answered. We follow the trail of his experiences. The horrors that he was forced to endure, but the decision was left up to the individual. No matter what Elie thought about faith and humanity, we were allowed to think differently.
Any text written holds a form of persuasion, so that the reader can experience the story. To, in a sense, become the characters temporarily. Which usually leads to us being exposed to the way the author thinks; how they want others to be. However, Elie never directly addresses us, and tells us to process the events as he did. We experience the emotions and thoughts he did, but we are never directed into a certain stream of thought. We are coerced emotionally; gently, because of his honest accounts. Compared to many other written works that aggressively point us in the direction they believe we should follow, through addressing the reader, or the world. Elie in opposition, just states simple facts. He tells us his story, and takes us with him on his journey of recollection. This is why I love this short text (besides the fact that the man was a genius with literary techniques), it’s assumed that we already know the difference between right and wrong, as we should, and how to form our own opinions.
There’s always a race that feels the need to be superior. Usually, that results in a war, one that doesn’t end well on either side. We saw that with the Nazi Party in World War II, who had their hearts set on complete genocide of the Jewish.
During the Holocaust, many of the Jewish prisoners gave up on life, religion, and themselves. It wasn’t a simple thing. Every day they saw those who mattered most to them beaten and killed. There didn’t seem to be much hope for freedom. How could one expect others to continue their belief in God and the good of humanity when they have been stripped of everything they held so dear?
I completely understand the questioning of faith. I question the idea of religion all the time. I think that’s why I appreciate Elie so much; he didn’t skim over the fact that he lost his faith. He focused on it. I also appreciate, as I mentioned before, that he leaves us to come to our own decisions. Yes, we know the Holocaust was horrible. We know that slavery and racism is wrong. In current day though, there is a population within the world that believes slavery and racism is fine. There are still people who deny the Holocaust was real. And no matter what you think, it’s assumed that you’re educated enough to hold your own opinions. Because that’s what most of the world is now; opinions. Right and wrong, pretty or ugly. All Elie wanted was to expose the horrors he suffered through.To express his understanding of the human condition. To discuss his journey through faith in himself and an otherworldly being.
To tell a story, that at the time, no one wanted to hear.
I’m glad he continued to fight for his novel to be published. To ignore all the naysayers, and help bring a purpose to his life. One that he might not have found otherwise. Because in my opinion, what we considered history, is now the present. What the world, and its citizens, thought was mostly eradicated is still here. Hate thrives, and so does racism. Faith in humanity is crumbling for many, just like their ability to follow a religion. But, there’s always those who have the drive to change the world. The ones who can alter the way we think with a stroke of their pen, or a simple sentence. This book is inspiring, and to have faith in humanity is to look at what Elie lived through. And then to look at what he made out of it. He may have questioned God. He may have questioned the faith he had in himself, but he still held the capacity to learn, love, and teach.
Which I think, is the epitome of the good that humanity can provide.
Personally, I’ve always had a large interest in history, especially the many wars the world has seen. I’ve always questioned how anyone could facilitate such death, just to come out victorious. This book struck me because of the honesty it holds. I could never imagine witnessing the horror they did, let alone living through it. How could you hold faith in a religion, in a God, when they’re allowing this death and suffering to occur?
To me, this is where the benevolence of human nature comes into play, along with faith in God. If many religions prohibit killing, and call it a sin; how can mass killings be permitted? Genocide, even. Without relying on the factors of religion, how could the majority of a country want to exterminate a race? Where’s the kindness and the love; what everyone says is the best feature of humankind? I appreciate “Night” because it exposes humanity, and the faults that it has, or could have. We see the main character questioning his religion. The religion that he was pushing himself to find. And to me, this is the most honest you could ever be.
6 thoughts on “Faith in Religion – “Night” Personal Response”
Overall, I loved reading all your ideas about this novel.
I am absolutely astounded and commend the level of thought you put into this piece and how it is perfectly crafted with a handful of rhetorical questions, which are very intelligently and strategically placed. For example, this question, “How could one expect others to continue their belief in God and the good of humanity when they have been stripped of everything they held so dear?”, reinforced the prominent theme explained in the previous sentences. Including this question really drilled in your idea, and allowed it to come full-circle with the supporting ideas that are mentioned in other paragraphs.
Not only that, but I really enjoyed the simplicity of your piece and how it was fairly easy to understand because your ideas were all connected and stylistically explained in such a manner. This also includes your word choices and the length of your sentences. Although some of your short and to-the-point sentences somewhat mirrored the writing style in Night and were effective, I felt as if sometimes this was too repetitive. Some sentences that could have been one, were split into two which seemed a bit choppy to me, as a reader. Nonetheless, the flow and connectivity of your writing was rarely interrupted. This is really something that I look for in a piece of writing since it is something that I struggle with, as well as editing. Reading your piece was a great way for me to learn the importance of editing and how to create a sort of flow to my writing. I believe that is what dictates the quality of a piece of writing; if others can improve from it.
Also, I felt as if you introduced a completely new idea into your writing whilst talking about the way Elie tells his story. You went from saying, “This is why I love this short text (besides the fact that the man was a genius with literary techniques), it’s assumed that we already know the difference between right and wrong, as we should, and how to form our own opinions.” to “There’s always a race that feels the need to be superior. Usually, that results in a war, one that doesn’t end well on either side.” I believe that you could have included another sentence to connect these two ideas, instead of abruptly jumping from one idea to another.
Altogether, I really enjoyed reading your writing and pondering about the questions you asked and the topics you brought up. I felt like this piece was beyond amazing and I am excited to read more of your writing in the days to come. I hope you and your family are well during this tough quarantine season and I thank you for providing me with an excellent piece to chase off my boredom.
Hi! I hope you’re doing well in this strange, unfortunate time. I wish we would have had more opportunities to work together, but I guess there’s always next year. Thank you for taking the time to read my piece – it truly does mean a lot, and I was honestly quite shocked (in a good way) to see that you had commented! I appreciate the depth of thought you put into your comment and that you really understood what I was saying. I often think that people have no idea what I’m talking about, but you did. And I’m thankful for that along with all the compliments you gave me.
The improvements you pointed out and suggested are things I completely agree with. I have a deep love for short sentences, and phrases, that pack a punch, but I tend to over use them as you’ve noticed. I’ve always had severe issues with the flow of my writing, and these short sentences definitely don’t help. I’ll try to weave more of them together in the future like you suggested! Also, thank you for the compliment about my editing skills – that’s one of the nicest things you could ever say to me!
Amanat, you’re an incredible writer who definitely intimidates me with their talent. Whether it be in our science class or our English class you’re always completely dedicated, and I appreciate that beyond words. I hope that we have an opportunity to work together next year, and for both of us to learn from each other. I can’t wait to read more of what you post, because without a doubt it will be incredible. I hope you’re doing well with this at home learning, and I hope you’re taking time to relax as well. Have a good day – I’m going to go comment on your free choice now.
To be quite honest, this is probably your most impressive piece of work that I have read. Your first paragraph lured me in and really helped me appreciate how good of a novel Night is. You state only facts and bring excellent ideas to the surface, that I’ve never fully acknowledged. For example, “We are coerced emotionally; gently, because of his honest accounts.” I’ve never thought his writing style that deeply. Furthermore, your sentence structure is very diverse and professional. I applaud you for having nice, short, yet powerful sentence fragments as they really tend to provoke contemplation.
Improvement wise, I don’t really have many suggestions considering how well written this is. However, I do agree with some of Amanat’s points. More specifically revising your work and making sure that you maintain a steady flow and connecting your sentence topics more smoothly. Additionally, some of your shorter sentences do come off a little choppy, so make sure you read aloud your work as I am sure that will help.
Overall this is a beautiful piece. You perfectly tied in present-day and age to Elie’s experience which fascinated me, a reader. I miss seeing you in school and I hope all is well. Stay safe.
Thank you for all the compliments! I’m happy that you got something out of reading my work; I think that’s one of the best things I could ever hear. I really appreciated this novel , well I fell in love with it, so I’m glad that I introduced you to my thoughts on it. Hopefully you’ve thought about Night in a different light now. It seems that we are always missing something within the text, and there’s always something to learn from that.
I completely agree with the improvements you mentioned. I will admit that I can never quite get the flow of a piece right. I’ll definitely try to weave my shorter sentences together, so that they sound more cohesive.
I miss seeing you in school as well. Hopefully we can see each other soon; I miss talking to you. Stay safe and stay healthy.
Unsurprisingly, you once again made a great piece and you have done a wonderful job of expressing your pinioning in a colourful and creative way. Your writing structure drew me in and made want to keep reading more and more. As you have said in your piece “Elie never directly addresses us, and tells us to process the events as he did. We experience the emotions and thoughts he did, but we are never directed into a certain stream of thought.” like Elie you gave us pure facts and use compelling literary styles to draw us in. You’ve stated your perspective on the novel and religion in both past and modern day wonderfully and brought many relevant points that I applaud you for.
For improvements I have little to say, however I agree with the other of the formations points of your transitions between sentences. Although few there were a few places that could have been better, but the flow was off. Try reading it to yourself out loud and feel how it sound to make the flow better.
You connection with religion and racial views of both past and modern day is a section that I particularly in fan of. This is a wonderful piece and I know you will improve and I look forward to your future writing.
Thank you for all the compliments you gave me, and thank you for taking the time to read my work. It truly does mean a lot to me.
I agree with the improvements you mentioned; I’ve always struggled with flow. Thank you for sharing some ways to improve my writing – I’m always happy to learn new tools that will help me in the future.
I’m glad that you got something out of my piece, and that you enjoyed it. I hope you are doing well in this unfortunate time of quarantine.