Death and the Symbol of the Night in the Book Night by Elie Wiesel

Topics: Night

As Luba Fredrick stated “To Die Was Easy”. This was certainly the case to Elie in Night. The conditions were so brutal in the camps, it would be quite easy to give up, and end your life. You could just lose all hope and end the suffering on the spot. As Luba mentioned, that was the easy part. Inversely, it was quite difficult to survive. As people spent more and more time in the camps they began to feel like there was less and less of a reason to stay alive.

Everything that these people loved and cherished was destroyed and forgotten. It was the brave people who kept their heads high, and continued on through the seemingly endless amounts of work, because they knew, that there was hope for them. There were countless times in his experiences that Elie thought about death, but he held on to the love for his father to get him through it. Eventually, he felt his survival was becoming more difficult, because he had to take care of his father.

That shows the brutality of these camps. They were so savage and heartless; they drove a teenage boy to wish his father was dead than to keep helping him stay alive. This goes back to Luba’s quote. Elie was so fixated on survival, that he felt that his own father was decreasing his odds of survival. Thus showing that survival in the camps was extremely hard, so much so, that a person had to choose if his life or his father’s was more important.

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During the holocaust, Elie’s sanity died. Hear me out, he isn’t a psychopath, but I feel like the events that he had encountered in the holocaust would have permanently tarnished his mental stability. He must have memories of the graphic horror that happened inside the camps very often. I find myself often thinking about the graphic images he illustrated in his novel, I couldn’t imagine living them. Seeing infants being used as target practice alone is enough to bring a tear to a grown man’s eye. This is one of the many terrible things Elie encountered in the camp. Elie also spiritually dies during the holocaust. He mentions multiple times about how he blamed god for not helping him out of the suffering and pain that he was encountering. I feel like after the camp was liberated, Elie had a hard time believing in any religion at all. He has no hope or any faith that a god exists because he feels that if there was a god, they would not let this type of cruelty happen. Lastly, his physical ability died due to the malnourishment and the beatings. I feel that this memoir shows that Elie is trying to live again. Instead of living in a shell being afraid and timid, he is educating the public through his stories. He is living up to the phrase “Never Forget” by spreading first hand experiences of the holocaust to the newer generations. The goal is that if people today know about the cruelty and inhumanity of the holocaust, then we can prevent another one from happening in the future. Wiesel is living again by telling his story, and embracing the past, rather than hiding it. In a way, I feel that he is showing that the holocaust cannot suppress his freedom of speech, and it makes him come off as a strong individual.

I feel like the title Night is very effective. It is quite symbolic of the story and it fits very well. There is a lot more depth to the title than just the time of the day when it is dark outside. The holocaust for Elie and all of the other victims was like a never-ending night. Symbolically, it was dark, cold, and there was no light. The light represents the hope for being rescued from the night, just like the sun puts an end to the night. The light would be the Soviet Union and the United States liberating the Concentration Camps. There is very little life in the night. Majority of living things are sleeping. This is like the outsiders in the neighboring cities “Sleeping”. They ignored the mass extermination of the Jews because they were afraid of Nazi Germany. During the day, people are friendly, and will help if needed. If you disturb someone during the night time, they will be short tempered and aggravated. In the camps, they were not treated with respect whatsoever. To say this is what people are like during the night might a stretch, but you know where I am going. If you would be walking down a suburban street in the day and you were attacked, someone would help you out in a heartbeat, but in the middle of night, there would be no one to help you, no one to hear the screams. This was the type of hopelessness that Elie and all of the other concentration camps experienced. No one would help them;no one would see how terrible they were being treated. Many more crimes are committed in the night because people are less likely to see it happen. Elie was very wise when he chose the title Night. It is very symbolic and means a lot more than what it means on the surface.

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Death and the Symbol of the Night in the Book Night by Elie Wiesel. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from

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