Elie Weisel’s memoir Night focuses on Elie’s harsh life in the concentration camp. One of the important aspects of the books is the change in not only Elie’s father-son relationship but other father-son relationships in the book. The book reveals a great deal on how humans can change in a harsh environment like the concentration camp. The concentration camp is the cause of the change in the father-son relationship.
For the father-son relationship, Elie gets closer. At the beginning of the book Elie’s father was occupied with his business and the doings of his community. Elie’s father discourages him to study the Cabbala when Elie asked if he could find a master to guide his studies for the Cabbala. Elie’s father replies by saying “You must first study the basic subjects within your own understanding.” (pg 2) From this we see that Elie’s father isn’t willing to give up his time to teach Elie, or to even bother finding a man who will help him with study the Cabbala.
In the beginning at the concentration camp, Elie sees his father beaten by Idek who suddenly broke out in a frenzy. Elie watched Idek beat his father while he kept quiet and didn’t move. Elie says “I was angry with him, for not knowing how to avoid Idek’s outbreak. That is what the concentration camp life had made me.” (pg 52) Elie does not show any sympathy for his father’s life because he was trying to avoid Idek and he gets angry at his father for not knowing how to avoid Idek. Elie fears that helping his father would result him being hurt.
At the end of the book, Elie is incredibly closer to his father. The only thing that was keeping Elie and his father alive was the existence of each other. If one died, the other person probably could not make it, and would die eventually. “My father’s 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 on...