A Comparison of Night by Elie Wiesel and a Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

In the novel “Night” by Elie Wiesel and the play “A Raisin In The Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, characters are faced with complicated relationships, however the characters ultimately came out stronger than ever before. In Night Elie‘s relationship with his father undergoes a change in the first concentration camp. In the novel, Elie says: “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed”(Wiesel, 30). Elie had never had a strong relationship with his father until they had been sent off to their first camp, Auschwitz. Elie, and his father, get separated from the rest of their family (mother/wife and sister/daughter). Understandably, Elie and his father‘s life was flipped upside down, neither could adjust the new difficult lifestyle that had been thrown on them.

Elie and his father had never had a close relationship until they were all they had left for each other; though the suffering was horrible at least they had each other. Elie and his father went through some terrible conditions and witnessed everything side by side. Elie says, “My hand tightened its grip on my father. All I could think of was not to lose him. Not to remain alone” (Wiesel 30). Elie could not stand the thought of losing his father, through all the pain and loss that the pair had endured, his father stayed by his side. Neither father nor Elie could loose one another; they depended on each other and were all that had left of a family. Though Elie had his father and his father had him, Auschwitz changed them both tremendously, During Elie and his father’s time in Auschwitz, the pair experienced horrendous conditions and watched innocent people die.

“Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine guns,“ (Wiesel 10). Elie felt as if he and his father were going to be stuck at the Auschwitz camp until their death. For days on end, Elie went without basic necessities of life, such as water, shelter, food, and place to relieve himself. “The heat, the thirst, the stench, the lack of air, was suffocating us, All of us,” (Wiesel 26) For nine long months, Elie endured the suffering of Auschwitz until finally he was forced to march to Buchenwald. Elie eventually gets liberated and goes back to a regular lifestyle, but Elie’s life would never be the same. He lost his father, his mother, and his sister. Elie’s life would never be normal again but he had been given the chance to start a new life and create his own family. Though he would never forget the terrible life he had, it taught him one thing: to always appreciate life, regardless of it’s difficulties.

In A Raisin In The Sun, Beneatha undergoes numerous changes in her personal relationships especially with her mother, In the novel, she says: “I see, I also see that everybody thinks it‘s all right for Mama to be a tyrant” (Hansberry, Act I)! Her mother, Lena, believes heavily in her religion, where as Beneatha believes in the power of men and science. The obvious differences of their beliefs cause them to knock headst Though Beneatha’s relationship with her mother fluctuates throughout the play, so does her connections with George and Asagai. George pushes Beneatha to deny her culture, while Asagai enriches her and shows her what it’s like to embrace her heritage. In the play, Beneatha says: “I want very much to talk with you. About Africa. You see, Mr. Asagai, I am looking for my identity” (Hansberry, Act 1).

Though Beneatha struggles with her options, money versus culture, her ultimate battle is with her mother, Lena’s newfound money inspires multiple problems with her children. Walter’s obsession with money and Beneatha’s aspiration for a degree in medicine tears Lena apart. In the play, Lena says to Walter: “You ain’t proud of nothing your dad and I done” (Hansberry, Act I), Walter‘s obsession with the Liquor store blinded his love for his mother and his sympathy for his family. On the other hand, Beneatha’s drive to become a doctor is admirable, but the way that she talks to her mother about it is not. Though the family goes through multiple set backs and Lena began to feel overwhelmed, her children finally realize that family is more important that money.

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