Night And Dawn : The End And The Beginning Of A Day

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Night and Dawn. The end and the beginning of a day. Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, noted author and recipient of the Noble Peace Prize, writes of both the darkness of the Holocaust and of the dawn of its ending. While Night is Wiesel’s autobiographical tale of his experiences during the Holocaust, both in his hometown and in the concentration camps, Dawn is a fictional tale of Elisha, an eighteen-year-old Holocaust survivor, who has joined the Jewish Resistance movement in Palestine. Both are stories of survival. While Wiesel details his experience surviving in the camps, Elisha must learn to live on, post-Holocaust, and accept the challenges of being a Resistance member. In the course of their respective struggles, both boys watch day turn to night and night turn to day as they become aware of changes in themselves and their worlds. The imagery of time of day and seasons in Night and Dawn enriches Wiesel’s storytelling and serves as a mode of reflection for the characters, allowing them to analyze their choices through the lens of the passage of time. The first seasonal reference appears in Night, in the spring of 1944, and echoes the sentiments of Sighet, Wiesel’s hometown, at the time. Although at this point in the war, the Nazis have invaded Germany, Poland and most of Central and Eastern Europe, Hungary remains unoccupied. As a time of hope, life, renewal and birth, spring lends a sense of optimism to the people of Sighet, Transylvania, including Wiesel and his
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