The Holocaust claimed millions of lives, and the survivors witnessed an event incomprehensible to the remainder of humanity. Elie Wiesel, a burdened survivor of the Genocide, describes his own experiences in his autobiographical memoir Night. Throughout the years in the concentration camps, Wiesel and the other Jews witness countless events of Nazis intentionally dehumanizing the Jews. After hearing these brutal remarks for years, Wiesel begins to internalize these thoughts. His writing reflects his internalization as he often compares himself and the others to animals. Elie Wiesel animalizes the Jews while personifying darkness to further dehumanize the Jews and show how the Nazi’s mental warfare continues to affect him. For years Wiesel witnesses dehumanizing acts brought against him, and when he writes he furthers the dehumanization by describing the actions of the Jews with animalistic metaphors. One example is when Wiesel compares Jews fighting for a piece of bread on the convoy to Buchenwald to animals attacking prey: “Beasts of prey unleashed, animal hate in their eyes.” (101). Wiesel metaphorically compares “beasts” to the Jews, and suggests that the Jews have no only become like animals but become savage and ruthless animals. Since “beasts” have connotations of ruthless and sinister, Wiesel is stating that the Jews have become the worst type of animal one could become. However, the idea of the Jews acting like animals was a Nazi one, and this metaphor came from a Jew. The choice for animals to be Wiesel's vehicle, is exactly what the Nazis do to dehumanize the Jews. So, after years of hearing animalistic remarks, Wiesel internalizes the dehumanizing acts from the Nazis, and how he now sees the Jews as animals as well. The Nazis brainwash Wiesel, so that he know now believes that the Nazis comparing the Jews to animals is accurate. Even years after experiencing the cruel acts, the Nazi’s mental warfare affects Wiesel and convinces him that the Jews truly were animals and not human. Wiesel continues to dehumanize the Jews as he decides to give inhuman things human characteristics with his personification.
Wiesel constantly writes about the night as a symbol for approaching evil, and he personifies