Night by Elie Wiesel

Decent Essays

Ten years after WWII, Elie Wiesel’s novel Night was published in 1955. Night describes “his memories of life inside four different Nazi death camps,” as he was one of the few Jews to survive the Holocaust during WWII (Sanderson). Wiesel’s autobiographical novel makes him “the best-known contemporary Holocaust writer and novelist,” and reveals the impact of the concentration camps on humanity and for the individual (Sibelman).As a negative Bildungsroman, Night depicts “a coming of age story in which, rather than finding his identity as a young hero would typically do, Eliezer progressively loses his identity” when time painstakingly “ends for young Eliezer in the spring of 1944” (Dougherty, Bosmajian). His shattering identity is “experienced individually and collectively” and is symbolized by his loss of personal possessions and loss of faith (Dougherty). This novel exemplifies the Holocaust as a dehumanizing process through Wiesel’s own experience, which influences his work Night.
As a young boy, once dedicated to his religion and God, Wiesel experienced horrors awful enough to abandon his spirituality. Wiesel describes his first night in Auschwitz as a night “which murdered [his] God and [his] soul, and turned [his] dreams to dust (Wiesel 32). When he arrives in Auschwitz, a prisoner points to smokestacks and asks “what’s being burned there?” another prisoner answers “that’s where you’re going to die;” Eliezer and the prisoners were surrounded with the smoke of bodies being

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