The Stranger And Night Essay

1367 words - 5 pages

It is a common belief that in times of turmoil love will be the strong point that allows us to live through the ‘dark’. However, Albert Camus and Elie Wiesel in their novellas The Stranger and Night challenge the idea that love will be the hero that saves all in the end. The authors create characters that gain and lose the love of family, community, and religion. They both start out on different paths, Eliezer a boy with family and love and all well, and Meursault, an existentialist. Yet, they both end on the same road.
Religion is a large force in the books, for whose love is the most forgiving, benevolent and easiest to achieve, God’s. However, religion in Camus’ and Wiesel’s worlds is a factor of isolation and a loss of faith for both characters. Eliezer, in Sighet, is very religious, goes to the Synagogue with everyone and stays later with Moishe the Beadle learning the Kabbalah. At the beginning he feels that he is “deeply observant” as Moishe gives him an insight into the more mystic side of religion, giving him an ‘answer’ to God and how things work. “Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, [he liked to say] Therein lies true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don’t understand His replies… The real answers, [Eliezer], you will find only within yourself” (Wiesel, p.5). This quotation shows us a view of God, we do not understand God, yet we know he is there and he is benevolent. At this stage Eliezer feels a close love and bond towards God. There is no experience with the evils of the world therefore there are no evils in the world. Once at the concentration camps he sees everything, and that view quickly changes, at first they believe that “God is testing” them. The longer the stay the lower the belief of “The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe”. Because of his lack of experience, per say, with ‘evils’ in the world the perfect image of God is broken, even if the glass is glued back, the cracks remain. Meursault is an opposite case; in The Stranger Meursault is an antihero, a non example of what we should be in life. He is a complete atheist, and does not believe that there is any meaning or anyone to provide meaning in life. However that doesn’t stop people from trying. The chaplain and the examining magistrate cannot believe that a man could be so cold to not believe that there is nothing such as God “’Do you want my life to be meaningless?’ As far as I could see, it didn’t have anything to do with me, and I told him so” (Camus, p 66). This ends up dominating the decision of the court and his sentence. His view of the world is skewed in a similar manner as Eliezer’s they both see God in one way, one as loving one as non-existent. Their love and faith in their own view prevents them from seeing others. The love (or lack) of God creates a blind that is impossible to see through until it is taken away, and once it is, they cannot comprehend the difference therefore refute it. Through their...

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