Literary Analysis of Night and Nervous Conditions

1241 WordsOct 23, 20125 Pages
Literary Analysis of Night and Nervous Conditions "Every question [possesses] a power that [is] lost in the answer" (Night). Night focuses on the conflicts of mysticism and conventional religion, of belief during tribulation, and of individual humanity in the most destitute situations. Contrastingly, Nervous Conditions questions the power of the individual struggling against a society that encourages self-subjugation and passive acceptance. Despite this apparent difference in analytical goal, both ultimately pose questions that force the reader to confront his own ideas regarding life, death, and the Meaning behind our existence. Night challenges the conventions of institutionalized religion and institutionalized belief. Through Moishe the Beadle, Wiesel asserts that spiritual events come in their own time rather than necessarily coming during times of traditional worship: "There are a thousand and one gates allowing entry into the orchard of mystical truth. Every human being has his own gate. He must not err and wish to enter the orchard through a gate other than his own. That would present a danger not only for the one entering but also for those who are already inside" (Wiesel 5). He also asserts that divinity and God are not separate entities in a realm beyond, but very much a part of us and the realm in which we find ourselves: "I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask Him the real questions" (Wiesel 5). This stream of thought runs counter to all traditional Jewish teachings, and these teachings contributed to Moishe being a Cassandra figure. Despite his warnings of the terrors committed by the Gestapo: "Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine guns", he was condemned to be ignored by those whom he was trying to save. This describes another theme of the memoir: the sheer impossibility of the rumored

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