Dehumanization In Night By Elie Wiesel


Depriving a person of their human qualities and treating them as if they are any less because of who they are or what they look like is dehumanization. In the book Night, all the people were mistreated because they were Jewish. A Nazi leader named Hitler captured Jews into concentration camps and throughout the book, the author communicates how it was for him specifically. They were tortured throughout the camp by being starved with little food and being told to work or they would go to the crematorium. In Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, Elie and his fellow Jews experience the devastating process of dehumanization, which reveals the corrupt and inhumane tendencies of powerful human beings. 

Hitler and all his SS officers hold power over the Jews who unwillingly do as they are told for their survival in the concentration camps. Elie notices and states, “But this boy, leaning against his gallows, up-set me deeply. ‘This ceremony, will it be over soon? I’m hungry…’ whispered Juliek” (Wiesel 62). Juliek says he is hungry while a man was being deemed to his death which shows that he simply did not care. The longer the Jews lived in the camp, the less they cared about others and only for themselves. Their thoughts were being controlled by the Nazis without them realizing it. They knew death could be upon them and the Nazi’s power over them introduced them to the idea of survival. Which led them to focus more on themselves under corrupt tendencies. He wanted his food because he knew that is how he would continue, but if he started to worry about others, it may only drag him down. Thus, the Jews reveal the diabolical acts of these powerful human beings. 

When one or multiple people have power over others, there is a lot they can get away with such as the demands that were made toward the Jews in the memoir Night. Elie noted in fear, “If one of us stopped for a second, a quick shot eliminated the filthy dog” (Wiesel 85). Elie states that they would be shot while running if they stopped or slowed down. This shows that the power the SS officers held over the Jews was powerful enough to keep them doing something inhuman. They were starving them while forcing them to run far distances in the cold. All these people had homes and were stripped away from everything they had, yet they were given almost nothing while forced to run for their survival. Most human beings would simply stop or revolt at something they are being forced to do, but the Jews could not or their life would be at stake. The Nazi’s power held silence over everyone. Overall, Hitler and the SS officers were vigorous and had strength over the Jews, pushing them to listen to them and scaring them into not speaking to the barbaric demands made against them.    

Therefore, throughout the book Night, Elie and the rest of the Jews experience dehumanization from powerful human beings that reveal their corrupt and inhumane tendencies. Dehumanization is a disgusting act towards others that treats them as if they are any less and lack the mental capacities of a human being. It is unacceptable because everyone deserves their basic human rights and qualities.

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