The Book Thief

1034 Words5 Pages
‘The Book Thief’ and ‘Night’ – Comparative Essay The Holocaust has made appearances in many literary texts and educational materials in the past decades. ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak and ‘Night’ by Elie Wiesel are two of the most exceptional novels on this subject. Although the two stories are set in the same period of time, they take completely different perspectives. While ‘The Book Thief’ primarily focusses on the life of a young German girl in an ordinary German town, ‘Night’ gives a first-hand experience through the eyes of a captured Jew. ‘Night’ is, except for a few minor details, a memoir which follows Eliezer Wiesel as he experiences near death situations, internal conflicts and a loss in spiritual faith during the Holocaust. He begins as a faithful man deeply devoted to Judaism. Even as a young teenager, his commitment is shown when he prays in the synagogue every evening and stays with Moshe the Beadle after the services. However, his faith rapidly loses grip when he witnesses suffering and cruelty of the worst kind. After two incidents – one where he watched babies lowered into a furnace and the second, a boy dying slowly by the noose, he “no longer accepted God’s silence” and on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish when fasting is performed, he drank soup and ate bread instead. He saw the act as “a symbol of rebellion, of protest against Him.” Although he does not doubt God’s existence, Eliezer cannot unite the atrocities he has observed with his notion of God. He ultimately turns his back on God, a figure to which Jews have remained true and faithful for hundreds of years. Similarly, Liesel in ‘The Book Thief’ also becomes disloyal to the leader who all Germans are expected to obey and look up to. In the beginning, she admires Hitler’s greatness and dreams of him. However, she begins to suspect the Fuhrer took her mother away when a

More about The Book Thief

Open Document