Night By: Elie Wiesel

By: Davis Boyd

Author Biography

-Born on September 30, 1928 in Sighet, Transylvania

-he pursued Jewish religious studies until he was forced to relocate a Nazi death camp

-since he was released from the camps he has been speaking out against persecutions and other injustices in the world

-A big portion in his life was spent in a Nazi camp

-Educated at Sorbonne

-won the noble peace prize in 1986

-founded the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity

Big image

History of World War II

-From 1939-1945

-had two powers the Axis and Allies

-the Axis had Germany, Japan, and Italy

-had 50-85 million fatalities

-Japan was conquering the East and Germany and Italy started to conquer a lot of Europe

-in 1941 the Axis advance was stopped and the Allies started gaining back territories

-the war ended in Europe when the Allies captured Berlin from two sides. This forced the surrender of Germany on May 8, 1945

Summary

This memoir starts with Elie Wiesel and his family living in a Jewish community in Sighet, Transylvania in 1943. When German troops come to the community. They start with a law saying that you can't leave the house for three days under penalty of death. After a while of living under the Germans in their community the Germans start sending the Jewish people to Auschwitz (without their knowledge). Once they get to Auschwitz they separate the people into men and women groups which causes Elie to be separated from his mother and sister. After this they are separated into two more groups and luckily Elie and his father stay together. After this they are sent to another camp where Elie's golden tooth is almost ripped out of his mouth. Then the dentist trying to take Elie's tooth is hanged for taking the money for himself. This gives the impression to Elie that the soup they have that night tastes amazing. They then hang a young kid accused of treason and he is still alive for half an hour after the chair he was on was kicked away. This gives the impression to Elie that the soup tastes of corpses. Then towards the end of the story Elie and the rest of the people at his camp run to another camp which is really far away. This is about as close to the end as I can get without spoiling anything.

Quotes

"Blessed be God's name?
Why, but why would I bless Him? Every fiber in me rebelled.
Because He caused thousands of children to burn in His mass graves?
Because He kept six crematoria working day and night, including
Sabbath and the Holy Days? Because in His great might, He had created
Auschwitz, Birkenau, Buna, and so many other factories of death? How
could I say to Him: Blessed be Thou, Almighty, Master of the Universe,
who chose us among all nations to be tortured day and night, to watch
as our fathers, our mothers, our brothers end up in the furnaces?
Praised be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on
Thine altar?" (Wiesel 67)

The reason I think that this quote is significant is because it is when Elie questions his faith and he starts to lose it. This is significant because before he was sent to a camp he was studying religion so it was very important to Elie before this moment in his life.
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is? This is where--hanging here from this gal-
lows..."
That night, the soup tasted of corpses. (Wiesel 65)

This quote also relates to Elie losing his religion. This is the preface to how the quote above leads to questioning his religion. That is why the quote is important because his faith is dying like the kid being hanged.

Author's Purpose

Elie Wiesel wrote this memoir to be able to let the world know of his experiences during World War II. He also wrote this book to present his viewpoint on his experiences and the war through his life.

Theme

The theme of the memoir Night, to me at least, is that nothing worth fighting for is easy. This is relevant in many ways throughout the story. A few examples are when, he is separated from his mother and sister, he has to run to another camp, and the public hangings. These examples apply because Elie is fighting to see his family again, fighting his mind that he can't keep running to the other camp, and when he is fighting his mind to accept the death as part in God's plan.

Symbols

One symbol in the story Night is the kid who is hanged publicly at one of the camps Elie was being held in. The reason the kid is a symbol is because as Elie walks past the kid his faith dies along with the kid. This shows that the kid was Elie's representation of his faith. Another symbol in the memoir is after they are running to another camp Elie falls into the snow which to him feels warm like a blanket but he knows that he will die if he stays in the snow. The snow in this case symbolizes death because at the time it feels nice and comfortable but it isn't what Elie wants after all he has been through.

Letter to the Author

Dear Mr. Wiesel,

First off you have lived a very interesting life even if part of it was spent in suffering in a concentration camp. Also, when I first read your memoir I was surprised by your perseverance throughout the story. I also am very sorry that you lost your family through your experiences. I do have a few questions though like, where did you go to was you were rescued from the camp? How exactly did you become a "Nazi Hunter"? These are a few of my questions and any response would greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Davis Boyd

My Response/Reaction

I am glad that Elie Wiesel wrote this memoir because it allows us another inside view of concentration camps through one persons experience. I also believe that this memoir should be shared so people can see what life was like for a Jewish person in a concentration camp during World War II.

My Recommendation

I recommended this book to everyone. I believe that this book should continue to be taught in schools and it should not be banned because it provides an insight to the concentration camps.