The motif of parent child relationships in the book Night highlights how the holocaust twisted and
changed people to such a degree that even normal loving parent child relationships changed
because either the child turned cruel in their desperate need for survival and turned on their parents
viewing them as a burden to be sacrificed or themselves or the child is forced to assume the position
of guardian over the parent, protecting the parent as the parent would normally protect the child.
Quote: “A terrible through loomed up in my mind: he had wanted to get rid of his father! He had felt
that his father was growing weak, he had believed that the end was near and had sought this
separation in order to get rid of the burden…My God, Lord of the Universe, give me strength never to
do what Rabbi Eliahou’s son has done” (90-91).
Quote " Stunned by the blows, the old man was crying: Mier, my little Mier! Don’t you recognize
me...You're killing your father... I have bread...for you too..."
How children turn on their parents
breakdown of humanity in the face of cruelty
Wiesel details father-son relationships to show how natural, loving bonds deteriorate when
individuals are faced with intolerable situations.
In order to save themselves, these sons sacrifice their fathers.
How the relationship reverses
Taking cvare of parent essential for survival
Mutual support system.
Quote:. I kept walking, my father holding my hand. […] My hand tightened its grip on my father. All I
could think of was not to lose him. Not to remain alone. […] It was imperative to stay together.
How children are supposed to be protected by their parents in a normal relationship
Elies father/son relationship goes through the three cycles