Night starts off by introducing Moishe the Beadle a Jew that lives in Sighet a small town in Transylvania. “Then one day all of a sudden all the Jews were expelled from Sighet and Moishe the Beadle was a foreigner.” (pg.6) Moishe the Beadle had to leave Sighet, he along with others was crammed into a cattle car by the Hungarian police. People made no big deal about this, they thought it had something to do with war, so that’s why this was happening, and people were being recruited. “They were forced to dig huge trenches, when they had finished their work the men from the Gestapo began theirs, without passion or haste, they shot their prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine guns.” (pg.6) Moishe the Beadle had no Idea that when he was taken away, it was to dig his own grave. Moishe had no clue why this was happening, but it was and it was happening to him. All this took place, in the Galician Forest near Kolomay. Moishe was wounded in the leg and left for dead. This is the way he was able to escape. Moishe has now come back to warn all the people of Sighet, of the abuse he received by Hungarian police.
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In The Pearl Kino and Juana are also experiencing abuse of power. “Have you money to pay for the treatment.” (pg.11) this is the abuse uneducated, poor people, like Kino and Juana go through, for not having enough money to pay the doctor. Coyotito Kino’s son was stung by a scorpion and could not be attended by a doctor, because his parents cannot afford to pay. “The doctor has gone out”, he said. “He was called to a serious case.” He shut the gate quickly out of shame.” (pg.12) the doctor abuses his power by helping only the clients with money, and putting aside the poor like Kino, Juana and Coyotito.
Moishe the Beadle, was afraid that nobody would believe the massacre he experienced, as it turns out Moishe was right and nobody believed him. But now a young man named Elieze along with his family is experiencing the abuse of power by the Germans and the Hungarian police. “We no longer had the right to frequent restaurants or cafes, to travel by train, to attend synagogue, to be on the streets after six o’ clock in the evening. “Then came the ghettos.” (pg.11) Elieze and his family are now prisoners in their own home, having to live by others rules. Sighet was divided into two ghettos, and every home was well watched and every window facing the street had to be sealed. Elieze and his family are now worried after finding out that “the ghetto was to be liquidated entirely, departures were to take place, street by street, starting the next day.” (pg.13) The Germans are abusing their power and making everybody in Sighet fear for their lives, not knowing where they are going to be taken. “That was asecret, a secret for all, except one: the president of the Jewish council. But he would not tell, or could not tell. The Gestapo had threatened to shoot him if he talked.” (pg.13) everybody is waiting to find out what will happen, and what awaits them, after being imprisoned in their own homes unjustly by the Germans.
Kino and Juana go fishing one day for oysters. Kino dives down into the water and starts to pull oysters off the hummock where they live. After opening all the oysters Kino opens the biggest one of all and finds a big shinny pearl inside. News of Kino’s finding travels quickly into the ears of the doctors. “He is a client of mine, the doctors said; I am treating his child for a scorpion sting.” (pg.22) Now that the doctor knows Kino has money to pay for Coyotito´s scorpion sting. The doctor decides that he will cure Coyotito, because Kino can now afford to pay him. The doctor is taken advantage of his power. The pearl was a sign of evil from the first time Kino found it. “And suddenly he was afraid of his talking; his hand closed down over the pearl and cut the light away from it. Kino was afraid as a man is afraid who says, I will without knowing.” (pg.26) the pearl as Kino and Juana start to notice is nothing but problems for them. One night after someone breaks into Juana’s and Kino’s home, Juana begs Kino to throw the pearl away. “Throw it away; Kino let us break it between stones. Let us bury it and forget the place. Let us throw it back into the sea. It has brought evil. Kino, my husband, it will destroy us.” (pg.38) Juana just wants to live in peace the way they lived before finding the pearl. Finally Kino and Juana take the pearl to sell it because they know people will try to take advantage of them. They are followed by the whole town, “Now the dealers glanced quickly at one another, they knew they had played too hard, they knew they would be disciplined for their failure.” (pg.52) the dealers try to take advantage of Kino’s knowledge; they think they can convince him the pearl is not worth anything. Kino is aware of their evil intensions so he decides not to sell the pearl for the fifteen hundred pesos they offeredhim.
“The time has come you must leave all this, Hungarian police used their rifle butts, their clubs to indiscriminately strike old men and women, children and cripples.” (pg16) The moment they have been waiting for has finally come. They are brutally being forced out of their homes by the Hungarian police and the Germans, the citizens are sacred and do not understand the cause of the police brutality. “All the Jews, outside hurry” (pg16) the citizens, are being lined up outside the street, so the police can take roll call They are forced to stand outside in the hot sun with no water. “The heat was oppressive, sweat steamed from people’s faces and bodies children were crying for water.” (pg16) Everyone has to wait in the hot sun for hours. Cruel and brutally is how the Germans are treating these poor people, not being able to stand up t o a higher power, the Germans are abusing their power on innocent people. “Oh God Master of the Universe, in your infinite compassion have mercy on us.” (pg20) Elieze after seeing his father cry for the first time in his life realizes this is not a dream; all Elieze can do now is pray for all the injustice, pray and hope that this is just a big misunderstanding. Elieze cannot believe what they are being put through. We walked towards the station, where we were going to be taken by the Gestapo. After a long ride the train had finally come to a stop. “In the air, the smell of burning flesh, it must have been around midnight, we had arrived in Birkenau.” (pg28) The SS man came forward hitting and telling everyone to leave all the objects behind in the wagon. Their only things of value they had were left behind “Men to the left, women to the right.” (pg29) This was the harsh reality, the moment when Elieze had been separated from his family, not knowing whether this was going to be the last time they would ever see each other. Elieze was scared and did not want to separate from his family.
The threats continue for Kino and his family, the pearl has now become a real problem. Kino was attacked outside his own home by some stranger; Kino had no choice but to take a life to protect his family, killing a man for this reason Kino had to leave his home town. Kino was going to be wanted by these men and decided to leave “It bit through neck and deep into the chest, and Kino was a terrible machine now.”(pg86) This is what Kino has been driven to do, after being chased all over the place by some trackers trying to take his pearl and kill his family, Kino had no choice running out of places to hide Kino had to kill again. “Kino had become as cold and deadly as steal.”(pg87) After being pushed to the limit, Kino finally got tired and had to push back. Kino was tired of running, being scared, and treated like a dog. Worst of all Coyotito was shot, and killed by one of the trackers, causing Kino to lose his temper and go crazy. Kino killed the tracker with the rifle and with the same rifle Kino killed the other two trackers.
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“Sons of bitches, why have you come here?” (pg30) The search for the truth is finally over, after a SS officer tells Elieze and the rest of the prisoners, why they have been brought to the concentration camp, and the terrible things that await them. “You will be burned! With no compaction, you will be burned to cinder! Turned into ashes!” (pg34) Elieze is stunned, and petrified at the news of being burned alive, how can the Germans be so cruel and cold hearted to just kill people for no reason, this is all a horrible nightmare for Elieze and the prisoners. “A truck drew close and unloaded its hold, small children, Babies! Yes I did see this, with my own eyes.”(pg32) Elieze cannot believe his eyes, how can something so incredible to believe be happening, and why doesn’t anybody do something about this terrible nightmare. Why doesn’t the world know about this horrible place, that is burning human being, and little defenseless children alive? “If that is true, then I don’t want to wait, ill run into the electrified barbed wire. That would be easier that slow death in the fire.” (pg33) Elieze is now panicking and thinking of a better death, than to be burned alive. If he is going to die then he wants to have control over his own death.
Now Elieze and his father are prisoners having to work and wait for their turn to be thrown into the crematorium, and be burned alive. As they approach the flames, they are ordered to go back to the barracks and wait to be transferred to another camp site. “We had arrived in Buchenwald.”(pg103) Elieze ‘s father at this point cannot go on any further; he is tired, sick, and weak from all the beatings and cruelty the prisoners have been putting him through. “They said that we were sick, that we would die, soon and that it would be a waste of food.” (pg107) The guards did not feed Elieze’s father because he is about to die, for the guards Elieze’s father is just another body to throw away, they are just waiting for him to die so they can get rid of him. “His last word had been my name.”(pg112) Elieze’s father could not fight any longer, after having a strong fever, he had started to hallucinate he could no longer go on dying on January 29. “The resistance movement decided at that point to act.”(pg115) Americans have penetrated into the camp and caused the SS to flee, and leave the prisoners behind. “At six o’clock that afternoon, the first American tank stood at the gates of Buchenwald.”(pg115) the nightmare was over, just like that Elieze was a free man, he and the prisoners had been rescued from death. Not wanting to celebrate all Elieze wanted to do is eat some bread, he was dying of hunger and the way he wanted to celibate was by eating. “From the depths of the mirror, a corps was contemplating me; the look in his eyes as he gazed at me never left me.”(pg115) after so long of not eating right and being over worked like a slave, Elieze for the first time and could not believe it was him.
In conclusion life is unexpected, and uncertain. The message The Pearl and Night give us is to never give up, to always keep fighting in what we believe. To stand up for our selves, and if possible to not allow others to control or take advantage over us. If we fall, to get up again to not allow miner speed bumps to slow us down. Fight for our right, our equality, and most importantly our freedom. These two amazing stories show us how brave and how much a human being can endure, under constant beatings and such cruelty by other human beings. This is a reminder to enjoy our life to the fullest, because any day our life, our luck can change so be happy with what we have and be grateful.
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