Night Written by: Elie Wiesel

Prepared by: Surya Raviraj

Brief Biography

Elie Wiesel was born in 1928 in the town of Sighet, now part of Romania. During World War II, he and his family and other Jews from the area, were deported to the German concentration camps, where his parents and little sister perished. Wiesel and his two older sisters survived. Liberated from Buchenwald in 1945 by advancing Allied troops, he was taken to Paris where he studied at the Sorbonne and worked as a journalist.

World War II

World War II began on 1939 and ended on 1945. World War II killed more people, involved more nations, and cost more money than any other war in history. Altogether, 70 million people served in the armed forces during the war, and 17 million combatants died. Civilian deaths were ever greater. At least 19 million Soviet civilians, 10 million Chinese, and 6 million European Jews lost their lives during the war. World War II was truly a global war. Some 70 nations took part in the conflict, and fighting took place on the continents of Africa, Asia, and Europe, as well as on the high seas. Entire societies participated as soldiers or as war workers, while others were persecuted as victims of occupation and mass murder.

Summary of Night

although warnings about German intentions towards Jews, Eliezer’s family and the other Jews in the small Transylvanian town of Sighet (now in modern-day Romania) fail to flee the country when they have a chance. As a result, the entire Jewish population is sent to concentration camps. There, in a camp called Auschwitz, Eliezer is separated from his mother and younger sister, but remains with his father.

As Eliezer struggles to survive against starvation and abuse, he also grapples with the destruction of his faith in God’s justice and battles with the darker sides of himself. Forced into a desperate situation, Eliezer feels a conflict between supporting his ever weakening father and giving himself the best chance of survival. When the Nazi move him and his Dad over to Buna they face greater danger, and a few days later Elie's father dies. Elie is forced to survive on his own with no guidance from his older ones.

Major Themes

  • Silence - There was nobody to mingle with and it was always silent.
  • Struggle to maintain faith in God - Elie almost lost faith in God because an innocent child was getting killed and no one was doing anything to stop it.
  • Inhumanity Towards other humans - All the Nazis were hitting people to death and treating them with no respect.
  • family bonds - Elie was with his dad the whole journey except the last part of it because he died.

Quotes that impacted me

1. "One day I was able to get up, after gathering all my strength. I wanted to see myself in the mirror hanging on the opposite wall. I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, has never left me." (Wiesel 90)


This quote is brought up at the end of the book when he is leaving from the ghettos in Buna and it shows how the holocaust had a significant effect on him. This entails that although he is one of the lucky people to survive the holocaust he is essentially dead because he had to endure all the horrible experiences of killing innocent children.



2. “Where is God? Where is He?” someone behind me asked. ..
For more than half an hour [the child in the noose] stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes. And we had to look him full in the face. He was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was still red, his eyes were not yet glazed. Behind me, I heard the same man asking: “Where is God now?” (Wiesel 60)


This quote brought up in the middle of the book when Elie sees a young boy slowly die because he was acting against the Nazis. This connects with the major theme of the book, the struggle to maintain faith in yourself and in God. Elie, before he left was a significant believer in God but during the holocaust, not so much.

Major Symbol

One of the major symbols expressed in the book is the element fire. It is shown in the literal way of the Nazis burning the innocent bodies and it is implied that the Nazis ARE the fire and they are burning away all the Jews. On the way to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Madame Schächter receives a vision of fire that serves as a premonition of the horror to come. Eliezer also sees the Nazis burning babies in a ditch. Most important, fire is the a major way in which people can die and many meet their death at the hands of the Nazis.

Writer Purpose

Elie Wiesel wrote this book to inform and educate people about the holocaust and how gruesome it was. He wanted for people to know why the holocaust is important and and how it effected him physically and mentally.

Personal Reaction

While reading this book I was terrified because of all the inhumanly thing the Nazis were doing to innocent people. I was also asking the question, "why did this horrible event occur". I was so confused as to why anybody would ever do this to innocent people.

Recommendation

Personally, I would recommend this book to people who want to get to know how the holocaust was through a first person perceptive point of view. I would also recommend to high schools because teenager should ought to know what the holocaust was and what it did to millions of innocent people.

POSTER/COLLAGE

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