Elie Wiesel wrote “Night” as a memoir, in his perspective living as a child in the holocaust. After reading this work, I felt like I could see everything through his eyes, as a child. There are many psychoanalytical approaches in which this novel could be seen, especially looking at how Wiesel came about writing such a heavy book after ten years of silence.
Whenever I read a book, I try and read it like I am the author, looking over a final copy. That is the way I believe literature should be read, through the lenses of the author and when reading, you must think through the author’s memories, and thoughts while writing. The author wrote this book after taking a self inflected ten-year oath of silence, never to speak of his experiences in the holocaust or with his family again. This may have been from the idea, “Instead of an attenuation with growing temporal distance from the event, we have witnessed an increase in memory activities during the last two decades” (Assmann, 262). Something changed in him, as an adult instead of a child and that change is an important thing to incorporate in thinking when reading Night. Because this book is written in the first person, as himself as a fifteen year old boy, that is how I read it, as a child. There has been a lot of research on children development regarding their psychological manors.
One psychoanalytical critic is Sigmund Freud and his structural model of the psyche. After reading and understanding his model of the growth of children’s sense of self, I saw an impact on Elie’s story from different stages in his life. While reading Night, there are many things to focus on, but from a psychoanalytical view the effects of looking at psychological types and principles present throughout this novel is important.
Because the author is writing from his perspective as a boy, while being an adult many years later, that view point becomes a flag of importance to the readers to dig deeper in why he wrote this way. I think this is because this time in his life was so horrific, almost like a nightmare that he cant forget, that if he were to write about it, in the perspective of him as an adult remembering back to that time, it wouldn’t have the same impact because of the different perspective.
Elie didn’t have a childhood and was forced to grow up, when he was only fifteen, he was forced to act eighteen. Not only through numbers, “Second, their childhood was cut short, as they were obliged to become adults too early, under pressure to be self-reliant, prudent, and responsible. Third, there is the hint of a changed experience of time. Exiles generally experience the passage of time differently in their homeland than in the reception country” (Kroger, Hammel, 8-20). This experience completely changed who he could have been and that had an affected him for the rest of his life.
There is a parallel between Elie’s journey through the holocaust and his childhood stages of self. It is important to look at...