Dawn

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ajgasdf
Words 1190
Pages 5
Disoriented Faith It is psychologically natural for humans to question faith and spirituality after experiencing tragedy and loss. People may doubt or even reject their faith with God whom is depicted in scripture as a source of peace and security in our lives. In Elie Wiesel’s Dawn, Elisha faces a similar spiritual contradiction after barely surviving the holocaust. After all of his family and friends are murdered by the egregious acts of the Nazi’s, Elisha seems to immediately question the logic behind his faith in Judaism and God. Stemming from his upbringing as an Orthodox Jew, his faith does not merely go away, rather, his understanding of God is reinterpreted into a more extreme outlook that acts as his catalyst for change as he transforms into a terrorist. Elisha’s reshaped understanding of God first becomes evident when he is relocated in refuge programs in France. In a camp outside of Normandy, Elisha often spends his time alone, in part because he does not speak French, but he interestingly reveals some important information regarding his faith. For the first time, we see that Elisha is pondering his faith as he looks up at the sky searching for God. Cliché in nature, it is almost as if he is saying “Why, God?” as he searches for the face of a child in the sky, trying to his rationalize experience in the concentration camp. When pressed to discuss this when Catherine, another girl whom he lustfully bonds with after discovering that she also speaks German, Elisha responds to her questions by saying, “I hope to see the child. But you are a witness to the truth. There’s nothing there. The child is only a story” (40). Elisha realizes that these teachings from scripture and legend are simply fragments of myths that defy the harsh reality of God’s presence in the world around him. Elisha continues to try to define the root logic of God’s actions as he…...

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