Is Elie Wiesel’s Book “Night” the Anti-Exodus?

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Is Elie Wiesel’s book “Night” the Anti-Exodus? After nearly two years of misery, a young boy finally saw the first ray of hope on the horizon; the Americans had finally arrived, and the Nazis were gone. In his autobiography Night, Elie Wiesel shares his experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau, one of Hitler’s concentration camps. Wiesel was one of the minorities of Jews to survive the Holocaust during World War II. His family did not make it through with him, and this had lasting effects. Laurence Cunningham has argued that Night is the anti-Exodus – the opposite of the Exodus story. In the story of the Exodus, the Jews were taken out of slavery into the dessert, where God led them to freedom. God sent Manna from the heavens. The Jews had a purpose. Unlike in Wiesels story, where the Jews are taken from freedom into slavery: “When this new “going out” of the Jews was completed, the final destination was the desert. But it was not the biblical desert, where people wandered with a purpose. Here there was no Manna sent from heaven to be found as the dew on plants in the morning. Nor was there to be a rain of quail to eat. In this desert the food that was sent “tasted of corpses.” Nor was a brazen serpent fashioned and raised up in order for men to look on it and feel the venom of serpents disappear from their veins. In this desert their were other instruments erected and men were told to bare their heads and look on these new instruments: gallows in the courtyard where men were ordered to look up at children hung for camp infractions. And venom coursed in their thoughts: where is God? Where is he? Where is God now?”(25) During the Exodus of Egypt, God spoke to the Jewish people many times, specifically Moses. There was communication going on between God and the Jewish people. God had a physical presence. But during the Holocaust, as Wiesel tells it in his book

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