Q:

How do I describe Elie Wiesel's father?

A:

Quick Answer

In Elie Wiesel's memoir "Night," his father, Shlomo, appears as a mostly static character. Through the story, the reader sees Shlomo's slow and steady decline from a community leader to a man who died of dysentery in the concentration camps.

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Full Answer

"Night" is written from the perspective of Elie Wiesel, which is perhaps why Shlomo appears so static, While the reader only sees Shlomo through the eyes of his son, it's clear that Elie spends a lot of time considering his father, even though his father is more a part of his life than a separate person. The reader doesn't gain any insight into Shlomo's thoughts because the narrator can only talk about himself.

Shlomo is a quiet, thoughtful person in the story, but it's clear that he is influential in his community, as he is a neighborhood leader in the weeks leading up to the emptying of the ghetto. The sense of duty, love and family commitment that Shlomo feels has taken root in Elie, which is what makes being separated from his mother and sisters right at the start of the concentration camp experience so painful. It also appears in the guilt that Elie feels at being angry with his father for being slow and for choosing to leave a camp that ended up being liberated a few days later. Had they stayed there, they would have survived the Nazis together, but they left, and Elie lost his father.

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