The Connotation Of Night In Night By Elie Wiesel

1197 WordsNov 8, 20175 Pages
Nightlights, locked doors, and bedtime stories all evolved for protection against the unknown horrors of the night. Humans have incessantly feared the darkness that follows the end of a day. This dark, negative connotation of the word ‘night’ is explored in Elie Wiesel’s memoir, Night. In this memoir, Wiesel, the protagonist and author, recounts his personal hardships as a Jewish victim in the Holocaust. As a teenager, he was taken from his home and, through numerous concentration camps, had a firsthand experience of genocide. Throughout the text, Wiesel uses many literary devices in an attempt to convey his experiences. Perhaps most significant is his use of the concept of night. In the memoir, Night, the title is used as a metaphor for the encompassing darkness that surrounds suffering, the loss of faith, and the loss of humanity. The metaphor of night is established through the darkness of suffering and torture of Wiesel and others around him. Throughout the memoir, Wiesel is inhumanely starved, beaten, and tortured, while also witnessing the suffering and death of innocent victims. The concept of night, both literally and figuratively, is consistently attached to these moments of torment and anguish. The first use of the word ‘night’ in the memoir follows the start of Elie’s encounter with the Holocaust. Following the impending deportation from his home, Elie states that “night had fallen” (18). The use of night here is more than just literal; the preceding torment of the Jews by the Germans and their forced evacuation illustrates that by stating “night has fallen,” Wiesel is indicating that his suffering has begun. This is further exemplified by the metaphorical use of ‘night’ while he is forced to run from Buna to Gleiwitz. During this journey, which is perhaps the worst of his suffering, Elie has to endure harsh conditions, starvation, exhaustion, and the death of others. The extent of his agony is reflected in Elie’s use of darkness and night. Wiesel writes that “the night was pitch-black” and that “shots exploded out of the darkness” (85). The use of the words ‘night’ and ‘darkness’ conveys his suffering and misery. Furthermore, by stating that the night was “pitch-black,” Wiesel indicates that this
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