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Bailey Peeples

Ms. Crowell

Advanced Composition

11 December 2017

Night is not meant for teens: The Reasoning of a Good Holocaust Education

Elie Wiesels memoir Night, contains graphic concepts that create controversy among

high schools. Some consider the content inappropriate for young readers due to the raw,

gruesome events that Elie experiences. Americans have become so sensitive to the point that

they choose to ignore these crucial parts of worlds history instead of learning and becoming

more educated about these issues. Although the holocaust the single worst thing that happened in

history, Elie Wiesels Night, should be taught in schools to make the future leaders of the world

have more empathy toward history and develop a sense of understanding about the Jewish

culture and how the Jews died, survived, and fought in the Holocaust.

Some people believe teaching the elements of the Holocaust and reading Night is too

graphic and contains content that is past the maturity level of high school students. By exposing

students to Elies journey through the camps, parents will lose their feeling of security and

protection they have over their children. Because the Holocaust is such a sensitive topic to

discuss in peoples everyday lives, it is easy to believe that children and young adults should be

sheltered and left ignorant on the family separation, starvation, and excessive killing that all

occurred in Elies life and to the people surrounding him. That night, the soup tasted of corpses

(65) emphasizes the brutality and exposure Elie felt from people being killed. Elie experiences
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young children lingering between life and death (65) which makes him eventually know

nothing but death and desperation.

Throughout the Holocaust, Jews experience unimaginable circumstances compared to

what people live in today. Without school systems including Night in their curriculum, students

will have no exposure or knowledge regarding the battles of the individuals in the Holocaust.

Elie changes mentally, physically, and spiritually in his journey in ways that teens can relate to

and understand. Although teens today will never come close to the sickness and pain Elie feels or

never be told work or crematorium the choice is yours (39) Night will teach them empathy

and perseverance. Elie learns to numb out the pain and weakness because he will not let death be

an option. When Elie feels like giving up, he pushes himself for the people surrounding him.

Wiesel showcases Elies selflessness in the scene where Elie runs to the abandoned village with

an injured foot and tells Zalman, Soon we will come to a halt. We cannot run like this to the end

of the world (86). Everyone can find value in selfless actions. In Night, Elie executes amazing

examples of perseverance, self-sacrifice, and empathy in his actions and words.

Students will learn from Elies spiritual change and development by comparing him at

the beginning of his journey to the end. Elie starts his spiritual growth by asking his father to

find me a master who can guide me my studies of Kabbalah (4). Elie tells the audience that

people do not begin studying the Kabbalah until their thirties. This accentuates Elies drive and

interest to do things out of the norm and to grow in his faith. After having Moshie the Beadle

as his mentor Elie says, I became convinced that Moshie the Beadle would help me enter

eternity, into that time when question and answer would become ONE (5). Elies faith in God

and prayer illustrates how God helps get him through the Holocaust. Even though Elie loses

faith, he never stops believing. When Elie becomes so angry and questions himself with What
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was there to thank Him for? (33). He begins to question his faith, but never lets it run out.

Despite the religious aspect of Elies faith, he shows the audience how to have faith in others

when he says, I ran to look for my father. At the same time I was afraid to wish him a happy

year in which I no longer believes (68). Elie continues to love and care for his fathers well-

being when he cares about nothing else, and his father solely helps Elie makes it through the

majority of his time at the camps. Elie and his father have faith in each other once his faith in

God diminishes. By saying all of that, teens can learn how to have faith in one another and in

God if they choose to. Elie illustrates great acts of heroism and bravery when he admits that he

has lost faith in God and still chooses not to give up.

Even though the Holocaust was a worldwide tragedy that makes teens feel down and

disturbed, Night aids the emotional and spiritual development in teenagers. The raw stories Elie

shares with the audience allows him to show them his vulnerability and the success that he has

later in life. In Elies Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he makes note to tell us how he feels

about basic human rights and his growth after liberation. By making Elies journey a model for

young teenagers lives, students will be able to learn and grow from his tragic experiences.

Students can become better individuals by educating themselves about the Holocaust and will be

able to learn and appreciate the value of life and be grateful for the circumstances they live in.
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Work Cited

Wiesel, Elie. Night. Translated by Marion Wiesel, Hill and Wang, 2006.