Adversity is defined as a condition marked my misfortune, calamity, or distress (definition should be cited). Whether relatively benign or extremely detrimental, every person has experienced an adverse situation at some point in their life. For most of us the adversity is relatively minor, but we must still endure our daily dose of frustration and the occasional setback. The memoir Night by Elie Wiesel illustrates that through the main character Elie Weisel. Originally all Individuals are innocent, but it is turmoil and the hardships they face that causes the much valued virtue to vanish. 15 year old Elie not only had innocence at stake, at the camp Elie had lost, Faith in god, and his entire family. Based on this Horrifying memoir, Nigh, Elie Weisel, through the protagonist Elie, and my past experiences, illustrates the idea that an introduction an adversity acts as a catalyst to loss of self-identity and self-belonging.
In our society, there comes a time in one's life when innocence is lost as a result of an experience or a gain of knowledge. The memoir Night by Elie Wiesel illustrates this through the memories that he carries with him to this day. In the beginning of this memoir he was a young and innocent child immersed in his faith from birth. However, once the Nazis came into his hometown of Sighet, all the Jews of his town were forced into cattle cars, then taken to concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Birkenau. Once Elie arrived at the camp, his family was torn apart. Elie was left with his father, while his sister was taken with his mother. "Yet that was the moment I left my mother ... In a fraction of a second I could see my mother, my sisters, move to the right ... I didn't know that this was the moment in time and the place where I was leaving my mother and Tzipora forever... My hand tightened its grip on my father. All I could think about was not to lose him. Not to remain alone" (Page 29-30) Elie was only fifteen when he lost more than half of his family. At that age, one is not fully matured yet to handle the loss of his family's structure. However, Wiesel realized that at that exact moment in time, he lost his family. When he realized it, he clung to his father like grim death because he wanted to be with what is left of his family. Even at his age, he began to realize how cruel the world actually was.
While losing his family was a major loss of innocence, through the course of his time being spent at the camps, Elie had lost more than just his innocence. Elie had lost his faith in god "Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith forever ... Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never" (page 34). In his mind, the flames consumed not only children and the elderly, but also consumed his belief in God. He has lost innocence, faith, and his whole family to that camp. Elie is left wounded from by physical and psychological damages, through this hardship he has seen what most people should not experience throughout their lifetime, and has gained valuable life lessons, but he has lost too much for it to be considered worth it. Since his entry into the concentration camps of the Third Reich, he began a slow cleansing, which snowballed into a total loss of innocence and even a belief faith in God. He lost his family, his friends, and his faith in the flames of the Nazi's cruelty.
Though my personal adversities pale in comparison to the ones Elie was faced against, it is still a considerably great example to show how adversities leave a cavity in your soul. In one's life, he/she is constantly being confronted with hardships, It is what they gain or lose that decides if the hardship was worth overcoming. In my past experience, I have encountered many challenges, but my greatest hardship was learning a new language, English. Throughout the first 8 years of my life I lived in India, my first language was Malayalam. My immediate family and I moved to Canada when I was 10, and I had no knowledge of Canadian culture, but was excited to learn the language and meet new people. I indulged most of my time to studies and learning English. Unknowingly throughout the process of learning a new language, I had had distanced myself from what I valued most, my native language. At the time I had very little understanding of the language, so I was laughed at, and also made fun of. Going to school was one of my greatest worries, I always had to distance myself away from others because of the Language barrier. I have had to stay after school many times to finish a task assigned during class, due to my lack of understanding. My handicap motivated me to work extra hours at home reading, watching lessons, and writing. By the time grade five came, I had learned to speak English Fluently. My parents were there constantly supporting me, giving me a tutor, helping me with homework, and even bought me a laptop to add the internet into my life. They were proud of me, but they had also realized that I was so involved in learning English; I had stopped speaking my native language. My parents reminded me several times to only talk Malayalam when at home, but I refused. I refused for one key reason, I was afraid I was going to lose English. So I spent the past 7 years of my life only speaking English, leaving my instinctive culture behind.
The exposure to new adversities Harbour the possibility of loss of self-identity. Though Elie was able to learn and experience the many harsh realities of the world; he lost his whole family, and his faith in God through the process. My gain of a new language and adaptation to Canadian culture left me with pride and joy but this came with the cost of another Language and Culture that in which I was born and raised in. Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which on preposterous circumstances would have lain dormant, but only at the cost of something more valuable.