What Is The Theme Of Night By Elie Wiesel

794 WordsOct 16, 20174 Pages
With crime, natural disasters and corruption at a constant prevalence in society, it is not uncommon for most people in the world to question the goodness of mankind, but are there some things that can be so poignant that can make a person permanently cynical to humanity? In Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night, he describes his experiences as a Jewish boy during the Holocaust, where he relives chilling memories of ghettos and concentration camps. Throughout the book, Elie describes horrors such as mass cremations of Jews, executions of innocent people and the death of his father and his family. When he retells his experiences, he uses the word “night”, a subtle, yet important expression to inform the reader of the emotional intensity these experiences have on his psyche. In the memoir Night, Elie Wiesel uses the motif “night” to demonstrate a direct absence of his own humanity. The first example of this motif usage in Night is when Eliezer sees the burning of adults and babies in mass cremations at his first in Auschwitz. Elie has just been separated from his mother and sisters and is now marching with his father to their barracks and on their way, they see the cremations of innocent Jews who have just been gassed. This is when he remarks “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed.” (32). “Night”, as it is used multiple times in the statement is used to express the emotional intensity of a situation because, at this point, Elie believes that there is little hope left for his survival and none left in mankind. Elie Wiesel uses the disturbing example of a boy who was hung in Buna to demonstrate his homelessness in humanity. In Buna, the concentration camp where Elie had now been transferred to, a boy was hung for an unspecified reason. All of the prisoners were forced to watch this barbarity as the boy struggles between life and death slowly before he eventually dies. Elie remarks “That night the soup tasted like corpses.” (62). The use of night in this context is especially important because earlier in the chapter, a man who stole an extra ration of soup was hung and Elie remarked: “That evening the soup tasted
Open Document