Symbolism In Night By Elie Wiesel

Decent Essays
In a true-story about more suffering and terror one could ever even attempt to imagine, one man tells his story about learning that just because you’re breathing doesn’t mean you’re living. In the memoir Night, Elie Wiesel uses symbolism to reveal that physical death is not the only way to die.

Through symbolism Elie shows us that one can not only die physically but mentally as well. In the ending of chapter four Elie tells us about a hanging he witnessed while in Buna. On page 62 Juliek states “‘This ceremony, will it be over soon? I’m hungry…’”. That small statement alone is an example of a death of humanity/ compassion. The lack of reaction from Juliek and the other inmates shows what state of mind they must have been in. Anyone
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Go ahead take what I’m giving you’”. Elie also includes details such as “He looked at me with his tired eyes,veiled by despair”. Despair is such a strong word and really drives his point even further. Despair in itself means to have a complete lack of hope. His father was ready to accept the fact his life would be over and gave Elie his “inheritance”. The spoon and knife are symbolic because they represent how much the inmates really lost in the Holocaust. Most people get more than a spoon and knife for an inheritance but that’s truly all Elie’s father had. Everything else had been taken right from them, and the fact that Elie’s father gave the very last things he owned away shows his complete hopelessness in a way out of the fate they were set up for. Having so little was just another reason for Elie’s father to suffer this type of emotional death. He didn’t have much to give up and didn’t see many reasons to continue on, It’s hard to hold onto your hope when you physically barely have anything. This example is proof of how one can suffer a death other than a physical one and it can even be more agonizing, at that.

Elie uses his gold crown, and his shoes as symbols for the shattering of his identity he suffered through his Holocaust experiences. Elie was faced with a choice when he arrived in Buna. Elie’s tent leader tells him he can arrange for Elie to stay with his father as long as he gives up his shoes. Elie refused to give up his shoes because “they were
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