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Elie Wiesel's Survival by Chance: Critical Essay

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“I don't know how I survived; I was weak, rather shy; I did nothing to save myself. A miracle? Certainly not......It was nothing more than chance”. In his memoir ‘Night’, Elie Wiesel writes about his personal experience of the Holocaust. He is a Jewish man who got sent to a concentration camp. Elie gets rid of everything he has: everything he worked for in his life, his mother and sister. Elie Wiesel survives by chance. Also, it happens by chance that Elie and his father got together the entire time they are in the concentration camps. Eli never thought he might be in Auschwitz, but he didn’t have a choice to think, he had to do everything quickly and learned to make a decision. He couldn't talk. Elie tried to do his best to stay with his father. Eli believed that he could control the events around him, but as a result, he lost faith and was disappointed in the world he lives in. Survival was a game, everything to stay alive is a game. In chapter seven, Elie's father has chosen to die in the selection process. Jewish prisoners are instructed to create two lines. One line is for those who had been selected to die, and the other line is for those who got passed the selection process. Wiesel's father has been chosen to be in the line for those who are chosen to die. Elie’s father escape when Elie created a mass confusion and his father switches lines. The German leaders did not notice that his father switched lines. The Jewish population survived the Holocaust by the chances which navigating the horrific conditions in the concentration camps.

Elie survived the Holocaust by chance. By chance, Elie and his father are put into the same blocks. Even when they are not, they are never sent to different concentration camps than the other. They got lucky to be together the whole time. In one of the camps Elie and his father lived in, they got assigned to a block under a Jewish man who is looking out for their block. “Whenever he could, he would organize a cauldron of soup for the young ones, the weak, all those who were dreaming more about an extra plateful then of liberty” (pg.48). On April 10, 1945, US troops arrived in Buchenwald, the concentration camp where Elie was staying for a long time. It was the biggest event that saved Elie's life from joining others who had come to the Holocaust camps. A chance can give you a chance to make a choice, a choice can turn into a chance that will happen in those cases that would never happen. In any circumstances, there is a choice, whether from what we choose or by chance, it depends entirely on our own desire. Our lives sometimes can be directed at the choices we make and give us great power to control our lives.

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People can argue that choice plays a huge role in his life, as well as in supporting Elie with his father through to the end. Upon arriving in Birkenau, all Jews split into male and female, as well as age. Elie decides to use the one piece of advice he has been advised, to give him a fake age that will help him escape from being sent to the furnace or otherwise killed due to his 'useless' age. “I did not move. What happened to me? My father had just been struck, before my very eyes, and I had not flickered an eyelid. I had looked on and said nothing” (pg.31). Elie made this choice to protect himself; if he had come to his father’s aid, he may have suffered a similar punishment or made the situation worse for him or him or his father.

Therefore, Elie Wiesel continued to fight through the Holocaust with his committed chances. By his mendaciousness to obstacles that interfered with his life. And by having a good attitude that helped him ush through terrible moments. Everyone has a chance they can assemble. Chance appears to be the most determining factor in enabling Elie to survive through those months of hardship in the prison camp and later getting liberty from Buchenwald. He learns how to make decisions that involve being silent and just eat, even if you do not like the food. He wants to believe that he has control of the events happening around him, but in the end, he loses his child view of the world in an instant. The alternative he has is to do anything possible to stay alive that is, survive. These decisions are a matter of our life. Sometimes even the smallest chance can change our being forever.

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Elie Wiesel’s Survival by Chance: Critical Essay. (2023, September 19). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
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