Night

by: Elie Wiesel

Foreword

Mauriac also focuses on the power of the narrator’s crisis of faith and the loss of his faith in God. This loss of faith, however, is not quite as complete as Mauriac suggests. Wiesel’s struggles with God are much more complex than a simple journey from complete faith to a belief that God no longer exists. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Mauriac frames Wiesel’s loss of faith as, paradoxically, an affirmation of Christian conceptions of God. Mauriac explains that the idea of suffering, of pain and persecution, is fundamental to his conceptions of Jesus Christ and his religious beliefs. Christians, he argues, accept that the world is full of suffering, and this recognition of suffering increases belief in grace. Because the world is so corrupt, he implies, a Christian is able to believe more fully in the purity of divine law and mercy. But, in the end, Mauriac acknowledges that the basic human emotions he feels when presented with Wiesel’s story overwhelm such a theoretical argument. Night is remarkable for its intellectual, spiritual, and theological depth, but its greatest power, it is clear, lies in its emotional candor.


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