The Theme of Darkness in Night by Elie Wiesel

1514 Words Jun 21st, 2004 7 Pages
Often, the theme of a novel extends into a deeper significance than what is first apparent on the surface. In the novel Night by Elie Wiesel, the theme of night and darkness is prevalent throughout the story and is used as a primary tool to convey symbolism, foreshadowing, and the hopeless defeat felt by prisoners of Holocaust concentration camps. Religion, the various occurring crucial nights, and the many instances of foreshadowing and symbolism clearly demonstrate how the reoccurring theme of night permeates throughout the novel.

Faith in a "higher power" is often used as a crutch by many in times of struggle. However, when that crutch is removed, the hardships that need to be overcome seem to increase as hope diminishes. This is true
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Never" (Wiesel 32). This quote unites the emotional, mental, psychological, and spiritual damaged suffered by Eliezer from his experiences with inhumanity of the Nazis. Lastly, the march from Buna to Buchenwald occurs at night; this is significant because it indicates the fate awaiting the prisoners (Fine 54). The many important nights that take place throughout the novel are clear indicators of the significance that the theme of darkness and night possesses all through the story.

As well as being a large component in expressing the profundity of the motif of night, the critical nights serve to bring about internal changes within the protagonist, Eliezer. He changes not only outwardly during his suffering, but changes as a person on the inside. This change can be summarized by the quote, "The night was gone. The morning star was shining in the sky. I too had become a completely different person. The student of Talmud, the child that I was, had been consumed in flames. There remained only a shape that looked like me. A dark flame had entered my soul and devoured it" (Wiesel 34). In this line, Eliezer discusses how his Holocaust experiences have changed him by stealing his innocence, robbing him of his childhood and destroying his soul. In the course of all these transformations, Eliezer seems to lose track of time itself. His quote, "So much had happened within such a few hours that I had lost all sense of time.

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