When Did Wiesel Say The Travelers Left Their Illusions Behind?

In Elie Wiesel’s book “Night,” the idea of illusions being abandoned is a frequent motif. Elie, a young boy from Sighet, Hungary, has a strong faith in God and trusts in the goodness of humanity. However, when he and his family are taken to concentration camps during the Holocaust, Elie’s illusions are destroyed and he is forced to confront the truth of the world. One key moment when Elie reflects on the loss of his illusions is when he and the other passengers on the train to Auschwitz are stripped of their humanity and reduced to mere numbers. He says, “The same day, the train stopped in a city that seemed to have been bombed. A machine gun fired continuously. Then silence. We left our illusions behind with the train.” In this scene, Elie realizes that the world he once knew no longer exists and that he can no longer cling to his previously held beliefs and values. The brutality and violence he witnesses force him to abandon his illusions about the world and confront the harsh reality of the situation. This moment marks a turning point in Elie’s journey and symbolizes a loss of innocence and a shift in his worldview. Ultimately, the theme of illusions being left behind in “Night” serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of the Holocaust on individuals and their beliefs. Through the character of Elie, Wiesel emphasizes the importance of facing the truth and accepting reality, even if it is difficult or painful.


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