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Night': Decisions That Affected Elie's Life

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Elie Wiesel is a Jewish-American author, professor, and activist best known for his book ‘Night’. ‘Night’ is a book that describes what was going on with Elie in the Holocaust. Elie made many decisions that negatively and positively affected his life. The decisions that impacted Elie’s life were that he had to lie about his age, decide if he wanted to stay in Auschwitz, and whether or not to protect his father.

One decision that Elie made that made a big impact in his life was when the prisoner told him that he’s 18, not 15 and that his father is 40, not 50. This was a big part because if Elie did not say that he was 18 and instead told him that he was 15, he would have been sent to the crematorium and the story wouldn’t be written. Thankfully, Elie said that he was 18 and the story was able to continue without him dying making it a positive impact on his life. This did change his identity, however, now that his 18 not 15 he must now work in a very hard environment carrying heavy things like bricks and stones. Elie luckily was able to carry the heavy stones and bricks since he was kind of strong and had help from his father.

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Another decision that Elie made that impacted his life was the choice to go with the SS officers to another camp. This affected Elie negatively because going with the Nazis will just mean more torture for the Jews. Had Elie and his father stayed then they would have been liberated by the Soviet Union and the story would’ve ended there on a good note. He didn’t want to stay because he feared that the patients were going to get killed by something and he also wanted to be with his father so he can feel safe. Also, if he had stayed then his father may have not of died in the cold. This was not Elie’s fault because he was scared that he would leave his father behind and that he might have died. Elie knew that they were liberated he stated “They were, quite simply, liberated by the Russians, two days after the evacuation”.

The final decision that Elie made that affected his life was that Elie was forced to make the decision that he cannot always protect his father from the violence they face on a day-to-day basis in the Nazi death camps. The first example of this takes place as Elie and his father are being transferred from Birkenau to Auschwitz. Elie's father is stricken with colic and when he asks one of the guards where the restrooms are located, he is beaten. Elie, paralyzed with fear and fatigue, cannot bring himself to respond to his father's attacker. Another example is when Elie’s dad was again struck by another SS officer but this was different because at the time of that beating, he was very ill and he had a horrible fever. Elie couldn’t do anything at the moment because it had tried to help both times his dad was beaten, then he would’ve been beaten himself. Unfortunately, when Elie’s dad was beaten the second time, he would end up dying later on in the chapter which made a big impact on Elie. Like I mentioned earlier he couldn’t help his father out since he would’ve been beaten, but it was a good thing that he didn’t help his father when he was struck because if he did then he would be the one dying.

Elie lived a tough life in his earlier years, literally, he had to face a lot of things like witnessing a lot of his fellow Jews dying in front of him, seeing his own father get struck by a SS officer, and seeing his own father die right in front of him but he went through it all without dying. With all of that said his decision would affect him for the rest of his life until his death in 2016. From deciding to lie about his age, to deciding if he wanted to stay in Buna or not, and to finally being forced to stay or abandon his father.

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Night’: Decisions That Affected Elie’s Life. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Night’: Decisions That Affected Elie’s Life.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
Night’: Decisions That Affected Elie’s Life. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
Night’: Decisions That Affected Elie’s Life [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Dec 15 [cited 2024 Mar 4]. Available from:
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