The Philosophy of Night, Dawn, And Day

Recently I have taken a large interest in the works of Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, since the start of this year I have been pondering over The Night Trilogy. These books have been emotionally a hard read, which I have found myself night and day reading over passages. The first book in the trilogy is Night, the longest of the three, which reflects a time of pain and questioning in Mr. Wiesel’s life during the Holocaust. Day is different and takes place in a tortured mind of a young survivor, Elisha, a “terrorist” fighting blindly against the British in Palestine. 

The final book in the trilogy Dawn, my personal favorite, about a young man obsessed with death turning to protect himself from love. All these books hold a meaning deep within there words that slowly unfolds when you progress throughout these books. These books are faces that are hidden. A face that hides fear in order to move farther on, the face that hides pain in order to look brave, and finally the face that hides it’s love in order to not break it. Night is a book that is hard to read as you progress through the pages of Mr. Wiesel’s life in the Nazi death camp, Buna. 

From a curious boy with his religion as his center of his world, too a young man persevering through hell. Elie’s words captivated me I found myself reading over passages over and over trying to grasp what he went through. Night reflects the face that hides fear in order to move farther on. Through all the trials that Elie has been through he from losing family members to walking miles in the freezing winter, he has persevered broke every reality and moved on to writing books that received many prizes. Mr. Wiesel was a young man that brought himself through every trial he faced, in Night he describes all the went through and brought me to tears on multiple occasions. Night is Elie Wiesel’s personal work and I can hardly interpret it into my own words. “One day when I was able to get up, I decided to look at myself in the mirror on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.” 

Even though Night is a very hard book to read I suggest reading it to anyone. This book is an amazing read and opens up your mind to the world and Elie’s bravery. Bravery comes with a price though and this price can be seen in Day the second book in The Night Trilogy. The main character who was a Holocaust survivor, Elisha, is a terrorist in Palestine fighting the British who has taken a captive a fellow Jew, David ben Moshe. Elisha is faced with the task of executing John Dawson an english Captain, but Elisha is faced with internal demons that haunt him from his past. Elisha has the face that hides pain to be brave, he tries hard to push away all his thoughts and wear a mask around his friends to attempt to show bravery. 

While waiting till dawn to carry out the execution Elisha is visited by his master, mother, father, and even his past self. All that come before him fight with him to think about his actions and how it will not only affect him, but them too. “I was beginning to understand. An act so absolute as that of killing involves not only the killer but, as well, those who have formed him. In murdering a man I was making them murderers.” Elisha faces John in the final pages in the book, the event unfolds as Elisha tries to fight off all the fear of his past and bring himself in to become a murderer. This book by far is the hardest to keep up with, as a short story it is very well illustrated and Elie’s words form the mind of Elisha. Elisha is a young man that any young reader can relate too, because of how he masks his true fear to try to be something he is not. “The tattered fragment of darkness had a face. Looking at it, I understood the reason for my fear. The face was my own.” This book’s words fogs your mind and even makes you questions your own being. Dawn shows the true face of fear, ourselves. There is more to fear than ourselves, but love something we all strive for. We end with the book Day, my personal favorite in the trilogy, which took me on route that I have seen no other writer taken me. Mr. Wiesel shows the mind of a man who tries avoids love to protect the one he loves. “‘I too,’ I lied. ‘I too need your love.’” 

The main character’s love interest is a woman named Kathleen, who loves him and stays by his side as he lays broken in a hospital bed from a car accident. The main character’s face hides love in order not to break it. He fears Kathleen’s love because he doesn’t want to lose her, and most importantly disappoint her. Day is told in multiple flashbacks and is hard to understand at first, but with every flashback you start to feel and understand the main character’s feelings. I recommend this book for anyone who takes a fine interest in romance. From fear, bravery, and love Elie Weisel takes head on basic human emotions in his own unique way. His works are an extraordinary read and makes a reader think as they turn through his pages.

Teacher/Adviser South Salem High School

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