In the riveting memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, Elie’s world seems to perish after he and his family were added to the millions of other European Jews apart of one of history’s biggest genocides; The Holocaust. Elie is forced to endure inhumane and heinous tragedies that stain his mind with a pessimistic fog and a wounded faith in God. In life threatening situations and times of vulnerability, faith is pondered.Faith is questioned in times of plight. “And in spite of myself, a prayer formed inside me, a prayer to this God in whom I no longer believed.” (91) Elie doesn’t believe a God could let this type of dehumanization and chaos happen to a person who dedicated their life to him. Elie grew up surrounded by religion, but everything he came to know meant nothing after witnessing the tragedies of The Holocaust.
His life revolved around God, and all the trauma he endured broke the traditions he grew up knowing and respecting. When put in a vulnerable position, faith is pondered.”I knew that I was no longer arguing with him but with Death itself, with Death that he had already chosen.”(105) Death is Elie’s new faith, and it’s the only thing that gives him hope.
The word death is capitalized like how the name God would be, showing respect and acknowledgement. He questions God’s loyalty and validity because he doesn’t understand how a loving God could let this happen to someone who dedicated their life to him. Elie realizes that no matter how much we prays, he is still stuck in an abhorrent situation and is slowly withering away.On the other hand, faith can be absolute in times of chaos and susceptibility.
” Deep down, I was saying goodbye to my father, to the whole universe, and against my will I found myself whispering the words: “Yisgadal, veyiskadash, shmey raba..” (64) Despite Elie’s doubts he is reassured by his Jewish prayers and hymns. Even though he finds comfort in the prayers he grew up using, Elie’s faith was still questioned and his loyalty to God is not as strong as before The Holocaust.
The prayers are more of a habit that he is accustomed to using.As can be seen, faith is pondered when put a person is put into vulnerable situations. Even though Elie’s source of hope changed throughout the memoir, he still always had something that pushed him to prevail.