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The delineation of human life is perceiving existence through resolute contrasts. The difference between day and night is defined by an absolute line of division. For the Jewish culture in the twentieth century, the dissimilarity between life and death is bisected by a definitive line - the Holocaust. Accounts of life during the genocide of the Jewish culture emerged from within the considerable array of Holocaust survivors, among of which are Elie Wiesels Night and Simon Wiesenthals The Sunflower. Both accounts of the Holocaust diverge in the main concepts in each work; Wiesel and Wiesenthal focus on different aspects of their survivals. Aside from the themes, various aspects, including perception, structure, organization, and flow of arguments in each work, also contrast from one another. Although both Night and The Sunflower are recollections of the persistence of life during the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel and Simon Wiesenthal focus on different aspects of their existence during the atrocity in their corresponding works.
Elie Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote Night with the notion for society to advance its understanding of the Holocaust. The underlying theme of Night is faith. Elie Wiesel, for the majority of this work, concerns the faith and survival of his father, Chlomo Wiesel. The concept of survival intertwines with faith, as survival is brought upon Elies faith in his father. Both Elie and Chlomo are affected in the same manner as their Jewish society. The self-proclaimed superman race of the German Nazis suppress and ultimately decimate the Jewish society of its time. Elie and Chlomo, alongside their Jewish community, were regarded as subhumans in a world supposedly fit for the Nazi conception. The oppression of Elie and Chlomo begins in 1944, when the Germans constrain the Jews of Sighet into two ghettos. During the time of Nazi supremacy, Elie and Chlomo are forced to travel to various concentration camps, including Birkenau, Auschwitz, and Buchenwald.
The determining concern of survival confronts both Elie and Chlomo throughout Night. The concept of survival is illustrated by the complications brought upon Elie and Chlomo. Elie and Chlomo believe they could only survive the concentration camps with one another; the father-and-son link was held together for the survival of each other. One complication in particular, was the instance when the SS officers separate Chlomo from Elie during a selection at Gleiwitz, as it was [t]he weak, to the left; those who could walk well, to the right. My father was sent to the left (Wiesel 91). Elie, fearing separation from his father, tries to overcome this problem by running after him. However, with several SS officers running toward Elie in order to constrain him, many people from the left were able to come back to the right and among them, my father and myself (Wiesel 91). Elies act of improvisation allowed him to remain alongside his father.
The raw act of survival itself confronted both Elie and Chlomo several times in Night. At one point during the march to Gleiwitz, the mass was allowed to rest. However, if the victims were not ready to form their ranks, the SS officers would shoot the resting bodies to death. To overcome this complication for survival, Chlomo decides that Elie should sleep, while Chlomo would awaken him when ranks were to be formed. Elie refused, while [his] father ... was gently dozing. ... [He] could not see his eyes (Wiesel 85). Elie, attentive during this time, was able to awaken his father in order to form ranks. The tactic to watch his father sleep allowed both victims to form ranks upon the SS officers commands; thus, Elie and Chlomo overcame their difficulty of sleep and death.
The concept of survival advances Elie Wiesels theme of Night faith. The process of surviving alongside his father allows Elie to bury faith in his very fathers existence. The most significant event in Night is when Elie injects faith into his father, even though he renounces his faith in God. During his first night at Birkenau, Elie states, Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. ... Never shall I forgot those moments ... more
Find essay on For That Wrong Committed
america the beautiful or the ugly
Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) was the best known and most influential African American leader of the 1800s. He was born a slave in Maryland but managed to escape to the North in 1838.
He traveled to Massachusetts and settled in New Bedford, working as a laborer to support himself. In 1841, he attended a convention of the Massachusetts Antislavery Society and quickly came to the attention of its members, eventually becoming a leading figure in the New England antislavery movement.
In 1845, Douglass published his autobiography, "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave." With the revelation that he was an escaped slave, Douglass became fearful of possible re-enslavement and fled to Great Britain and stayed there for two years, giving lectures in support of the antislavery movement in America. With the assistance of English Quakers, Douglass raised enough money to buy his own his freedom and in 1847 he returned to America as a free man.
He settled in Rochester, New York, where he published The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. He directed the local underground railroad which smuggled escaped slaves into Canada and also worked to end racial segregation in Rochester's public schools.
In 1852, the leading citizens of Rochester asked Douglass to give a speech as part of their Fourth of July celebrations. Douglass accepted their invitation.
In his speech, however, Douglass delivered a scathing attack on the hypocrisy of a nation celebrating freedom and independence with speeches, parades and platitudes, while, within its borders, nearly four million humans were being kept as slaves.
Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us?
Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart."
But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin.
Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow ... more
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