The first half of Open Heart gives a shockingly honest look into the regrets and joys of Wiesel’s life. His autobiographical take upon the events that lead him to this point in his life provides a clear look into his every emotion and thought. Using the event of his open heart surgery, Elie recalls during each chapter a different “love” of his life. Each love following under the metaphor open heart surgery plays.
The message conveyed, about love, love lost, and appreciating love could not be as powerfully conveyed without the setting of a hospital. A setting many Americans know a little too well. The fear felt before a loved one goes in for surgery, the worry during the operation. Questions asked: Will this be last time we talked? Will my loved one survive? Will everything go smoothly, without complications? For the patient: Will I ever get to see my family again? Did I tell them how important they were to me enough times? Will I ever wake up? The familiarity of this situation draws a connection to the reader, the book not only becomes Wiesel’s story, but the reader’s story too.
The stories of Wiesel’s past provide numerous snippets of love. His son, the day he was born, his first 11-year-old crush on a nurse that cared for him, his father, lost to concentration camps during the holocaust, his wife, a rock and inspiration in his life. Each story, a deeper nugget of love.
The first half of Wiesel’s novel “Open Heart” has provided an inspiring and realteable take on memories of loved ones, despite painful stories that went along with some of them.