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On Page 22, Wiesel Calls His Former Neighbors ”Our Friends of Yesterday.” What Does This Suggest about Wiesel’s Attitude?

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Elie Wiesel refers to the Sighet residents as “our friends of yesterday.” He expresses his resentment and disappointment at his neighbors, who chose to stay ignorant about the situation. They decided not to help and remain quiet when Wiesel and different Jews had to leave town by the Germans.

Detailed answer:

Elie Wiesel wrote Night not long after World War II. It was the point at which the Holocaust had not yet reached public awareness. By the lines “friends of yesterday,” the author infers how he and the other expelled Jews were dispirited. Wiesel realized what might happen when they left, as he had witnessed it for himself. The way that he had to leave everything behind and lost the old connections made Wiesel feel betrayed.

One of the major themes of the work is silence. People were quiet as witnesses of the whole nation’s massacre and humiliation. Many characters of the writing want to stay clueless to shield themselves from the dangers of reality. The community overlooked the story told by Moche of the German powers’ hostile attitude. By deceiving themselves, they had the option to live more blissfully.

The writer aims to evoke the ethical conscience of readers. Wiesel’s “friends of yesterday” are those who stayed in the town. The Sighet dwellers did not mind foreign Jews being forced to move and poorly treated. They even did not believe or did not want to accept the situation. Thus, Wiesel shows his pain and disillusion towards the people he trusted before and considered friends.

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"On Page 22, Wiesel Calls His Former Neighbors ''Our Friends of Yesterday.'' What Does This Suggest about Wiesel's Attitude?" IvyPanda, 2 Nov. 2021, ivypanda.com/q/on-page-22-wiesel-calls-his-former-neighbors-our-friends-of-yesterday-what-does-this-suggest-about-wiesels-attitude/.

1. IvyPanda. "On Page 22, Wiesel Calls His Former Neighbors ''Our Friends of Yesterday.'' What Does This Suggest about Wiesel's Attitude?" November 2, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/on-page-22-wiesel-calls-his-former-neighbors-our-friends-of-yesterday-what-does-this-suggest-about-wiesels-attitude/.


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IvyPanda. "On Page 22, Wiesel Calls His Former Neighbors ''Our Friends of Yesterday.'' What Does This Suggest about Wiesel's Attitude?" November 2, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/on-page-22-wiesel-calls-his-former-neighbors-our-friends-of-yesterday-what-does-this-suggest-about-wiesels-attitude/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "On Page 22, Wiesel Calls His Former Neighbors ''Our Friends of Yesterday.'' What Does This Suggest about Wiesel's Attitude?" November 2, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/on-page-22-wiesel-calls-his-former-neighbors-our-friends-of-yesterday-what-does-this-suggest-about-wiesels-attitude/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'On Page 22, Wiesel Calls His Former Neighbors ''Our Friends of Yesterday.'' What Does This Suggest about Wiesel's Attitude'. 2 November.

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