Fear Is For The Weak

In our English class, we have just finished reading the book Night by Elie Wiesel. Now, this book in itself is ridiculously depressing and since it is non-fiction, the severity of the book is just that much higher. Out of the entire book, one scene stuck out to me the most, the scene where his father is beaten while he calls out for Elie. Now before I elaborate on this scene, I’d like to bring up an earlier scene on page 59. In this scene, it was shown that “Fear was greater than hunger.” No one dared to approach the cauldrons of soup that were left out during the raid. A man that was brave enough had crawled out of the buildings where they were taking shelter from the raid just so that he may have a bit of the soup that was left out, but he was instantly shot. No one else dared to follow his example. Now the scene that affected me most also has to do with fear. This scene is located on page 111. Elie’s father is calling out for him, begging for water as he suffers from dysentery. An officer approaches his father and proceeds to strike him with his club until his father was breathing in gasps. What did Elie do in this situation? Nothing. “[He] was afraid, [his] body was afraid of another blow, this time to [his] head.” Fear has taken over Elie, this fear was so strong that he would rather let the officer beat his father than to stand up to him. What Elie is arguing against here is simple. He’s arguing against fear itself. Elie regrets this deeply after this event, he loses so much of his humanity due to the fear that he experiences. In fact, most of the officers during the Holocaust only worked because they were obeying Hitler, fearing his power and the consequences that would arrive if they opposed his actions. Fear is a ridiculously powerful weapon. Elie is arguing that no matter what, one must try to fight his fears, or else what comes next could be potentially much worse. Fear is for the weak. Fight it.

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-Bee

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