man is not only an executioner, not only a victim, not only a spectator: he is all three at once

In Night, Elie Wiesel describes how a father and a son fight each other to death for a piece of bread:

(The old man) collapsed. His fist was still clenched around a small piece. He tried to carry it to his mouth. But the other one threw himself upon him and snatched it. The old man again whispered something, let out a rattle, and died amid the general indifference. His son searched him, took the bread, and began to devour it. He was not able to get very far. Two men had seen and hurled themselves upon him. Others joined him. When they withdrew, next to me were two corpses, side by side, the father and the son.
I was fifteen years old.

Wiesel reflected later:

Deep down, I thought, man is not only an executioner, not only a victim, not only a spectator: he is all three at once.

Elie Wiesel, In his novel The Town Beyond the Wall.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: