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Madness In Elie Wiesel’s Night, And William Golding’s Lord Of The Flies

2374 words - 9 pages

Mankind has struggled throughout eternity, battling the demons that come from the very depths of the soul. Elie Wiesel’s novel, Night, and William Golding’s novel, Lord of the Flies show how quickly humans can descend into chaos and savagery. When dehumanization presents itself in unruly civilizations, humans turn into more primitive beings. The process of dehumanization begins through a loss of morals, knowledge, and innocence. The main characters in both novels find themselves in the eternal battle of good versus evil.
Morals guide people to behave in a civilized manner; dehumanization shows itself when people abandon their morals and ethics. Dehumanization, by definition, “is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil”. The people who go through the process of dehumanization become less educated, more savage-like and will do anything to survive. Without morals, humans will slowly lose their compassion for others. Once humans lose morals, they show dehumanization by acting like wild beasts. Having a strong sense of right and wrong allows humans to be guided to a civilized society. The leader of a group needs to present good morals and ethics. Without a just and moral leader, dehumanization will begin to creep upon its next victims.
During times of chaos, the victims’ morals begin to be corrupted by their surroundings. Elie Wiesel, himself, witnesses the process of dehumanization frequently during his time in the Holocaust. The atrocities that Elie Wiesel witnesses often begin due to a lack of morals. Elie witnesses a son abandon his morals in order to stay alive. The son, “had seen him losing ground, sliding back to the rear of the column. He had seen him. And he had continued to run in front, letting the distance between them become greater” (Wiesel 91). The son left his father for dead, demonstrating a complete loss of morals. During the Holocaust, people demonstrate a loss of morals over little things. Guards threw bread into the wagon with starving prisoners. The emaciated, starving prisoners “were hurling themselves against each other, trampling, tearing at and mauling each other. Beasts of prey unleashed, animal hate in their eyes. An extraordinary vitality possessed them, sharpening their teeth and nails” (101). The prisoners not only show a loss of morals, but become animal-like savages in the process. A son almost kills his own father over another piece of bread. The father cries out: “Meir, my little Mier! Don’t you recognize me….you’re killing your own father….I have bread…for you too….for you too” (101). The old man “mumbled something, groaned, and died. Nobody cared. His son searched him, took the crust of bread and began to devour it.” (101). The son not only demonstrates a complete lack of morals, but also becomes animal- like in the process. The men fighting over small amounts of food lose themselves, showing...

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