Humanity and Inhumanity in Book Night and film Life is Beautiful

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Elie Wiesel’s 1956 book ‘Night’ and Roberto Begnini’s 1996 film ‘Life is Beautiful’ both share very powerful messages about humanity through significantly different styles. Both of these texts show compassion and dehumanization through the characters, the inmates and Nazi’s and also using different tones and choice of language. Begnini chooses to show more humanity in his characters more than Wiesel does as he mainly focuses on the love between his main characters, whereas Weisel describes the horrors that his characters experience.

In the book Night, by Elie Wiesel, Hitler's main objective was to make the Jews feel inhuman. The Jews were tortured everyday for no reason other than for the entertainment of the SS officers. They treated the Jews like animals and felt no remorse for the repulsive things they did to them. They killed people for no reason without feeling guilty and even went to the sickening extent of burning them alive. All of these things led up to the Jews feeling as though they were not human. Elizer talks about how “one day when Idek was venting his fury, I happened to cross his path. He threw himself on me like a wild beast, beating me in the chest, on my head, throwing me to the ground and picking me up again, crushing me with ever more violent blows, until I was covered in blood.” [pg 53] His father was dying, yelling out to him and was told to shut up by one of the officers and then was beat repeatedly for talking until he fell unconscious and later died. Another way that the Jews were dehumanized was by taking away their identity. When they first arrived at the camp, they took away the things that made them who they were, giving them the same haircut, clothes and even tattooing a number on them. “I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name. Therefore, in Wiesel's choice to show inhumanity by describing the savagery that the Jews had to experience, it shows the impact of trauma and sends a message that humanity relies on hope.

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In the movie ‘Life is Beautiful’ by Roberto Begnini, shows that even in a time of Nazi Germany, Joshua and Dora were still able to keep going because of the love of Guido, protecting their humanity and giving them hope. Throughout the movie, Guido only went through the Nazi’s toutures because of his confidence in hope and kept his son alive by showing him hope in every situation. The love of this father is an escape for his child from all of the horror around him and is able to make life beautiful.

In both texts, they show humanity and inhumanity in some very different and similar ways. Night uses the horrible experiences that the characters in the story went through to show how their humanity slipped away. Life is beautiful shows that no matter the situation, there is always a way to find hope and keep yourself from losing your humanity. In Night, the characters relied on hope in order to keep their humanity whereas Life is Beautiful showed that love is powerful enough to keep that. The characters in the two texts each went through being tortured and treated badly by the Germans and Nazi’s.

Overall, in Elie Weisels novel, ‘Night’ and Roberto Begnini’s film, ‘Life is Beautiful’, despite their contrasting styles, the two texts both use powerful ways in showing the message of humanity. Weisel shows more inhumanity in his text through the pain of his characters and their experiences, whereas Begnini’s film shows how even in the hardest situations, your humanity doesn't always slip away. Therefore both texts use different text features to emphasise inhumanity and humanity.

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Humanity and Inhumanity in Book Night and film Life is Beautiful. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 23, 2024, from
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