Night

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Language Arts
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Night

By Elie Wiesel

Night is a memoir by Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel, describing the atrocious horrors of the Nazi concentration camps during 1945.

Night

Theme

Elie Wiesel’s Night memoir provides several universal theme messages to the reader. One important theme this emotional story evokes is, ”Never give up.” It is shown through shocking moments in the story where he finds himself thinking, “Should I give up now? Should I die right now?” Although he catches himself thinking this several times throughout his experience, he does not give up and strives to live until liberation by the U.S. and Red Army. A man forced to work as a leader for the prisoners says, “Comrades, you are now in concentration camp Auschwitz. Ahead of you lies a long road paved with suffering. Do not lose hope. You have already eluded the worst danger: the selection. Therefore, muster your strength and keep your faith. We will all see the day of liberation.”(leader of block, pg. 41) When Elie is in excruciating pain from being whipped or beaten, he wishes he could die. Somehow, he knows that his life has purpose. That is why he always fights to live until the end.

Literary Device

Elie Wiesel

The Trail of Tears describes the forced relocation of Native Americans in 1830. Even though this happened long before the Holocaust, when one hears, "suffering drowned in tears," They would feel deep and extreme sorrow and sadness about a group of innocent people who are exiled from their home, just like what happened to Elie Wiesel and his family.

Luke Armenia

Elie Wiesel provides the reader of his memoir, Night, with a mind’s eye view that is very effective. The literary device, personification, is used in his book vividly. An example of this is, “On everyone’s back there was a sack. In everyone’s eyes was suffering drowned in tears.”(Wiesel, Pg. 17) This quote is from when Elie, his family, and his whole community are forced to walk a distance to get on a train bringing them to Auschwitz concentration camp. This is a great device to use because suffering is a depressing word by itself, but then the author says, “suffering drowned in tears.” When “drowned in tears” is added, the word, “suffering” is very disheartening. Wiesel chose these words to provide a mind picture that no image can unfold. The quote by itself is extremely powerful. Personification is when the author gives a humanlike trait or feeling to an inanimate object. "Drowned" personifies this quote.

Author's Purpose

Wiesel’s purpose in his Night memoir is to inform the reader and express his personal thoughts. Through his writing, he attempts to open the reader’s eyes regarding the events that occurred in the Holocaust concentration camps in the hope of preventing these atrocities from ever occurring again. He tells his story about how he barely escaped with his life in Auschwitz Camp in Warsaw, Poland. “I remained in Buchenwald until April 11th. I shall not describe my life during that period. It no longer mattered. Since my father’s death, nothing mattered to me anymore.”(Wiesel, pg. 113) This is just before the prisoners get liberated, but one of the saddest parts of the book because his father died shortly before. Despite these painful memories, Wiesel felt the duty to tell them so that history would not repeat itself.


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