Wiesel’s “Night” and Rousseau’s “Confessions”

The essay involves two famous writers: Elie Wiesel’s author of “Night” and Jean –Jacques Rousseau’s author of “confessions”. We shall discuss their differences in their work using themes or ideas, and also the roles that different styles play in their work. Both writers seem to have a lot in common in their way of thinking and analyzing situations. In addition, the two-book talk about the life experiences of the author, bring to right some bad characters that they exposed in the past, and openly bring them to light. However, the two books also have several differences not only in the plot and character settings but also in the intentions exposed by the writer and the modernization or traditions involved.

To analyze similarities and differences in the great works of Elie and Jean-Jacques we shall first look at the individual plot. The night is a great work by Elie Wiesel, it’s based on his life experiences as a young Jew to his older years, the main moment s that he states in this book is his life after he and his family were sent to the German concentration camps during the world war two. When he was at the age of sixteen he losses his faith in God and the entire humanity when he saw how unfortunate his world had become, this was after the liberation of the Buchenwald which was one of the German concentration camps. The event was such a disappointment to him that he vowed he would not speak of them for the next ten years, in 1955 he brought light to his story after he published the story in Yiddish.

The Night contains a sparse and fragmented narrative style but later Wiesel destroys it by use of frequent quotes of his views which he calls the style of the chroniclers. He quotes “everything had to be said in one breath you never know when the enemy will come”. Wiesel’s distrust in God is one of his repeated themes it also compares to the father-child relationship he had with his father, his father declines to a very unstable state when Wiesel was still a teenager forcing him to be the sole caregiver to his father. But later Wiesel seems tired of being the resentful caregiver “If only I could get rid of this dead weight and concentrate more on my own survival…” he later realized how ungrateful he sounded and felt ashamed and sorrowful. According to his book everything seem to have been changed, no cultures no plans, this is a clear indication of how darkness was used to show the end in the Jews community.

The next book the confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, talks of Rousseau first fifty-three years. The confessions are a series of books that involve a series of the author’s experiences. This book does not only involve the hard times that the author had but also the parts of his life that were quite okay such as his education life. The book is mainly noted since it is one of the earliest autobiographies that the author talks of himself. He begins by saying that he will portray a clear nature of a person but he refers to himself. Earlier he had predicted that he will not have several writers who based their plots and styles as he did but this turn not to be true after several other writers came up with the same ideas among them were Goethe, Trollope, and Tolstoy.

Rousseau seems to display several incidences of character where most of them are humiliating and shameful. He gives an example of the time when he was a servant he covered up his theft cases by pitting the blame on a girl who worked in the house he also goes further to narrate how he disposes of his five illegitimate children he had with Therese. Through his work he gained so many enemies such as Diderot and Voltaire who slandered and framed him, Rousseau did not mind about the many enemies he was making he only saw it as a result of his talents which others did not have.

The two books discussed above differ in several areas but also, they have several similarities. Both were based on the author’s life experiences, Night is based on the author’s life when in the Germens concentration campus he narrates of his sixteen years in the camp that he did not want to mention for ten years since they were too bad of a memory. That setting seems to be similar to that brought out in the Confessions after Jean-Jacques the author expressed he had times as a servant that even results in his unaccepted behavior, this refers to the time that he steals and flames a servant.

The two authors also show similarity in their characters, they do not mind much of the welfare of the other, this is seen when Wiesel in the Night become fed up with taking care of his father, he says that it an extra work and the time he devotes to his father he could have been busy building a future for himself. The same attitude is seen in Confessions when the author frames a girl who worked in the house that she was the one who had stolen. The result of their attitude is based on the need to prosper by all means without actually considering the means.

Wiesel and Jacques Rousseau are both authors who based their writings on their lives. Most of the books are about their young lives which were full of challenges. Night talks all through about the hard times the author had but in Confessions the author includes both difficult times and good times, he remembers the memorable good moments of his education.

There are various roles brought out in the two books that assist in their plots. These include trauma, emotion, adolescence, family life, and/or “homelessness” in both narratives.

Trauma role that is used in the plot development of the two books in the Night we find the author finding his father as a burden and this is assumed to be as a result of the hard times he is experiencing besides he says the future has no room or relevance this is after the camps of Germany elapsed. In the confession, the author steals and frames the servant he also disowns his five children since it was not only a burden but also a “chain to escape from”.

Emotions are also a great factor in the books the authors express their past experiences putting more emphasis on the activities they think were most memorable and of meaning. After the author of Night had considered his father as a burden he later said that he was ungrateful and inconsiderate.

Adolescence is also seen in the books where the authors sets goals only about their favor it’s assumed to be as a result of their young age the authors were both adolescents’ at the time of their experiences.

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"Wiesel's "Night" and Rousseau's "Confessions"." Premium Papers, 17 Sept. 2021, premium-papers.com/wiesels-night-and-rousseaus-confessions/.


Premium Papers. (2021) 'Wiesel's "Night" and Rousseau's "Confessions"'. 17 September.


Premium Papers. 2021. "Wiesel's "Night" and Rousseau's "Confessions"." September 17, 2021. https://premium-papers.com/wiesels-night-and-rousseaus-confessions/.

1. Premium Papers. "Wiesel's "Night" and Rousseau's "Confessions"." September 17, 2021. https://premium-papers.com/wiesels-night-and-rousseaus-confessions/.


Premium Papers. "Wiesel's "Night" and Rousseau's "Confessions"." September 17, 2021. https://premium-papers.com/wiesels-night-and-rousseaus-confessions/.