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Eliora 1

Final Essay Night


English 10
Ms. French
17 December 2015
To Remember
In this day and age, the world has been sculpted into one of individualism and
personal regard. Though having a sense of self-preservation is essential to survival, it should
not be muddled with self-importance. As part of humanity, it is our obligation to live not for
ourselves, but for the world, so that the world may live through us. The novel Night is a
personally penned memoir by Elie Wiesel, who wrote of his experiences as Jew during the
Holocaust because he believes that he must testify, so that the youth of tomorrow do not
repeat the same mistake (xv). With his memoir, he received a Nobel Piece Prize, where, in his
acceptance speech, he states, I have tried to fight those who would forget. Because if we
forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices. When faced with experience, it is ones duty to
remember, because if we forget, our silence becomes indifference, a justification of cruelty,
and numbness to inhumanity.
Elie stated in one of his speeches that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
Indifference has its consequences, and when we react with indifference, we are allowing the
world to roam with evil. In the beginning of the book, Elies indifference towards Moishe the
Beadles warnings has severe consequences. Moishe the Beadle, who first returned to warn
the people of the cruelties he witnessed had fallen silent, (8) because the people were
indifferent towards his warnings, thinking they were absurd, and chose to regard him as a
madman. When time finally came for their deportation, Moishe returned to them. I warned
you, he shouted. And left without waiting for a response, (10). Later in the novel, Elie asks
how the world could allow such cruelties to be subjected onto the Jews, without realizing that

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the world was silent because they did not believe such an extreme of cruelty was possible,
similar to how he did not believe Moishe the Beadles words and allowed his deportation. In
this irony, we see that indifference is deadly. When people forget, they turn ignorant and
indifferent towards the happenings of the world. Humanity then becomes poisonous to itself,
because if the population of the earth were indifferent, it would be one that bred and lived
through selfishness, caring only about ones personal matters. Remembering events becomes
essential, so that humanity knows that in the world, no feat of cruelty is impossible, and begin
to selflessly dedicate their lives not for the betterment of their own world, but the shared
world. Indifference allows evil to happen; it allowed the Holocaust, and will allow many
Holocausts to come if it is not changed.
People are self-preserving creatures who, by instinct, do not want to be evil. When
things happen occur and they choose not to meddle, it is unrealized by them that their silence
is an allowance of the action. People must remember, so that they learn that silence is not an
adequate response. Elie mentions, Never shall I forget the flames that consumed my faith
forever, (34), and that he didnt know that in the history of the Jewish people, men have
ever before recited Kaddish for themselves, (33). Elie will not allow himself forget that
night, because in it, he discovered that there were people who could push others into edge of
desperation, until they were as hopeless as to pray a death prayer for themselves. Elie will not
allow himself forget the night, because he knows that if he does, the world will not know of
the limitless cruelty of the mankind, and will react in silence. When faced with experience, it
is our essential duty to remember and testify against it, so that the world does not react in
silence. Forgetting an event because it is painful is as powerful an expression of allowance as
committing the sin itself, because in forgetting, you are allowing it to occur again, however
much one wishes to convinces themselves otherwise. When somebody remembers, the
individual is indebted to letting the world know, so that the same mistakes are not repeated.

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When somebody forgets, they are allowing the memory to manifest within themself as
a blinding demon, numbing their senses against inhumanity. Elie, too, is guilty of this. During
his time in the Holocaust, he was forced to witness the hanging of prisoners in the gallows.
Surrounded by so much death, he had become numb of it, forgetting the worth of human life
because he witnessed it being so easily taken away. When adults were hanged, it bothered
him, but that was the limit of his reaction. Afterwards, he could still comfortably eat his soup,
thankful that he could live another day (63). However, when a child was hanged, he was
reminded of the inhumanity of the world, because he could see the child, innocent, hanging
for a sin that was not his own doing. The hanged pipel had the face of sad-eyed angel, an
angel in distress, and he was reminded that during wars, even angels, epitomes of purity,
were victims. That night, the soup tasted of corpses, (65). The hanging was an abrupt
reminder to Elie of the worth of life that he had forgotten, the realization disgusting himself
beyond words. Ever since, he had regarded no death as meaningless, because he remembered
that each life had worth. His remembrance is a reminder to readers that in life, forgetting
allows the body to be conditioned to evil, numbed by it. When allowance of cruelty manifests
in humans, it builds in them a tolerance for evil. Throughout all of history, the evilest of
people start from small acts of cruelty, and those acts grow out of tolerance. All serial killers
have a history of animal torture, because it conditions them to inflict pain. Forgetting the
worth of human life is a product of that growing that numbing tolerance within. When all
people grow numb, no soul will be left to recognize evil and stop it. Numbness is selfdestructing, and must be stopped. People must remember the wroth of life, the worth of
goodness, so that humanity will be intolerant to evil. Humanity must remember to understand
that evil is intolerable, so that people remove evil from each others futures.
When people remember, they are standing up for what they believe in, because truly
remembering means understanding, and understanding means change. Indifference allows

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evil, silence justifies cruelty, and numbness is allowing a tolerance towards evil. All those
acts, rooted in forgetting, devastate the world, inflicting pain upon humanity. In Night,
forgetting has always led to undesired consequences, and that it true to the world. When
humanity forgets, humanity allows, and humanity is guilty of repeating the gravest sins.
Remembering is not a suggestion, but a moral obligation. The world should not, cannot,
allow mistakes to be repeated. In daily life, too, sin must be remembered not to condemn the
sinner, but to avoid the reoccurrence of the sin. Humanity must remember, because the
knowledge of the past must be fashioned to mold the future. Life is brittle, memories are
brittle, and both must be maintained with good intentions.

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