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Analytical Essay on Elie Wiesel's Night

  • Date Submitted: 05/31/2010 01:33 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.2 
  • Words: 605
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In his masterpiece Night, Elie Wiesel portrays the inhumane treatment the Jews experienced from the Nazis, through the eyes of a 12 year old boy he once was. Set in the early 1940’s, the novel exhibits the sorrow, love and hatred of the Jews who were deported to German concentration camps during the Second World War. The motif “night” is repeated frequently throughout the story to convey these themes more effectively.
    Starting from the very beginning till the end of the plot, “night” contrasts two diverse topics of danger and protection. The word night is first introduced on page 10,”Night fell”, when Elie’s father is interrupted while he is telling stories and is informed about the deportation. After the Nazis’ appearance, night is used to symbolize the brutal and evil in people; not necessarily the Nazis only but the cruelty between the prisoners as well. During their trip to Auschwitz, Wiesel mentions Madame Schachter and her insane claims about seeing fire. “[Madame Scachter] stayed like that all through the day, dumb, absent, isolated among us. As soon as night fell, she began to scream… ”(p24) Instead of understanding and helping her, the Jews become egoistic and choose to hit her as a way of venting their anger. This not only foreshadows the crematory and the Germans’ inhumane acts but also gives an example of the loss of comradeship between the Jews. Likewise, night indicates the fear and horror people face in the concentration camp.
    On the other hand, night also represents the idea of hope and protection. Night has fallen when they begin their dreadful run from Buna. Regardless of the malicious symbol night holds, in this case, night is a protection for them. During the run, night shields the prisoners by hiding their movement in darkness. In addition, night signifies uncertain future and hope. Before crucial events happen, like the night before their deportation, people share words to comfort each other. Due to their unpredictable situations,...

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