Caleb Hendren Essay

Mrs. Cupo
English 2 HNRS
28 April 2016
Night Versus Life is Beautiful
“One more stab to the heart, one more reason to hate. One less reason to live.” This quote by Elie Wiesel is almost a summary of his time through the Nazi death camps. He was starved beaten, people died all around him. The only thing that Elie had is his father. Both the memoirNightwritten by Elie Wiesel and the filmLife is Beautifuldirected by Roberto Benigni are good representations of the Holocaust, butNightis a better and more impactful portrayal of the Holocaust because it has a more realistic setting, a harsher tone, and a more impactful father/son relationship.

The setting of a book or a film is extremely important to how the story is portrayed. The setting inNightis actually a real Nazi death camp. There are people dying all around him. He is put into an environment that is scary and unforgiving. On the contrary inLife is Beautifulthe setting is very censored and unrealistic.

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The setting of a story is important but the tone is also.Nightis a book that is very graphic, it is very hard to read. Definitely not a book for children to read. Almost the whole book is depressing. Especially towards the end when Elie’s father dies. Conversely the tone inLife is Beautifulis much happier. It is a more sugar-coated representation of the Holocaust. However because it is so loving and family centered it doesn’t show how horrible the Holocaust actually was.

One thing that both of these pieces of art share is a very well illustrated father and son relationship. In the memoirNightit is the father that first watches over the son but as time went on their roles switch and the son takes care of the father because the father was ill. When the father dies the book becomes even more depressing than it already is. InLife is Beautifulthe father takes care of the son. Because the son is so young the father shelters him from the horrors that surround them. He tells him it is all a game and that if they win first place they will receive a tank.

Life is Beautifulisnot a good representation of the Holocaust. It is more or less a love story that took place during the Holocaust however it does have an impactful message, not about the Holocaust but about family. ButNightis non-fiction which gives it a harsher tone and it also has an emotionally tolling father son relationship which makes it a more impactful portrayal of the holocaust.


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