In the internationally acclaimed novelette Night, Elie Wisel discloses his experiences as a young Holocaust prisoner in the Second World War. The following is an excerpt from Night,
I am not so naïve as to believe that this small volume will change the course of history or shake the conscience of the world. Books no longer have the power they once did. Those who kept silent today will remain silent tomorrow. (9)
Elie Wisel’s faith in the moral evolution of humanity is insurmountable. The author resents the bystanders of the Holocaust who minimalize the unconditional destruction of their Judaic existence. Wisel’s first-hand account on the abominations of World War II correspond to the ...view middle of the document...
Therefore to equip oneself with the apprehension of youth during wartime, one must first understand how their Bildungsroman diverged them from society over the course of time.
A man’s coming of age is similar to the enmity the Union and Confederate nations experienced after the two integrated into, what is now the United States of America, after the Civil War: hosistilty, complications, modifications, and growth. Except young men experience the unification of youth and reality, the adaptation to circumstances, and the growth into adulthood.
Eli Pinson Landers joined the Confederate Army at age nineteen, dedicated to the sovereign of the South. (The Letters of Eli Landers). Eli’s transition from childhood to adulthood abandoned the confidence of tomorrow and grasped the entity of death. His shift from living day to day converted into the realization of death and it’s only commodity it had to offer: a customized tombstone. (The Letters of Eli Sanders) Eli began to die daily as he approached his final days as a soldier. His letters became concise and scanty, signifying the evolution of his psychical withdrawals from war.
On the ten-year-old Carrie Berry’s birthday, she could not have cake, because the complications of war interrupted her family’s finances. (War through a Child’s Eyes) Carrie Berry hoped for peace by her next birthday, as days of nursing her sister and nights of hiding in the cellar had her expecting musket shells every morning. (War through a Child’s Eyes) The young child had become accustomed to the destructions of war. Now it is more of what she expected to happen. For life to be a continuous turmoil is inappropriate and contrary to the normality of healthy child development. The bliss of ignorance has morphed into cynical expectation. Eli represents the growth of cynicism in psychical warfare.
By establishing the realization of war and the fragility of human life, Eli separates the admiration of being a soldier and the reality of fighting a war. Grown to accept the wartime circumstances, Carrie’s life has become the adaptation to war. Learning to expect the atrocities of war, the Bildungsroman produced the acceptance for destruction and the rejection of felicity as seen a repetitive motif throughout literature and history.
The publication medium of print established political awareness for adults, yet captured the attention of youth. Political cartoons impose variables of opinion by showcasing another nation inadequacies in war, subjecting other countries to blame for World War II. In the political cartoons entitled: Daddy, What Did You Do in the Great War, a little blonde girl and her brother seem to be having family time with their father. The cartoon is illustrated to capture a brief pause between the daughter’s question and the father’s response, as the father appears startled by the question and unprepared for response. (Daddy, What Did You Do in the Great War?) Being that blonde hairiness is associated with...