Holocaust Storytelling in Night by Wiesel

Topics: Night

In the course of human history, storytelling has been a vital element. It has, for all of recorded history, embodied and reflected our memories that make us who we are in order to create a physical essence of our personality and history. Elie Wiesel proved the importance of storytelling through the important, traumatic, and perspective-altering memoir Night. Throughout this book, he used the power of storytelling to illustrate the horrific and morbid nature of the Holocaust.

In the book Night, Elie Wiesel tells the story of the Jewish people’s fate.

He gives a first person account of his experience inside of the Concentration camp. The abuse physical, emotional, or otherwise – were all described in vivid detail throughout the course of the work. He tells also of the impact that the Holocaust had on the relationships between the Jewish people.

He speaks about how it destroyed their lives. However, at the same time, he also tells of the heroism of the Jewish people. They are considered heroes often because of how they peacefully accepted the fate to which they had been doomed inside the concentration camps. This was, no doubt, very difficult. In fact, many would argue that accepting one’s own death is more difficult than taking the life of another human being whether you know them personally or not.

In the midst of the story, a young Jew named Zalman perished during the march from one camp to the other. He stumbles and falls to the ground, and is trampled underneath the feet of the other Jews, whom are attempting survive the situation (86).

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The painful and torturous fate that Zalman had to suffer was a true embodiment of the anguish and misery that all of the Jewish people had to suffer while in the hands of the Germans. The young life of Zalman being extinguished in such an unfortunate event portrays the young and vibrant lives of the Jewish youth that were whisked away into this endless Night. Elie Wiesel masterfully uses a single event such as this to paint the much bigger picture of Jewish genocide to form an impression of that event in the minds of future generations. The little events such as this one are used throughout the entire book in order to allow generations after Elie’s to still know and remember the horrific story of the Holocaust. Probably one of the more memorable lines in the book that truly had a significant impact on me is the last line of the book. It states, “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse gazed back at me. The look in his eyes, as they stared into mine, is a look that has never left me”(109)

Probably one of the more interesting parts of the story is that he did not only emphasize pain wrought out by the Nazi’s upon the Jews, but also the pain brought down by fellow Jews who were given positions of power in the camp. For example, the main goal of the Nazi’s is to exterminate the entirety of the Jewish people. Though the Nazi’s take it to the most extreme extent of extermination methods, they still fail to carry out this goal. Jews like Elie manage to survive the camps, and the morbidity of the situation. They also live through the future striving to regain the power, freedom, and dignity they once had. The country of Israel is living proof of the Jew’s ability to come back into existence, contrary to the Nazi’s goal. The Jew’s perseverance is a living testament of their strong pursuit for life despite the horrifying attempt at their extinction.

The use of real people in this memoir allows readers to capture that memory and have it in their minds. Added to this, the reality that was exposed in the book allows the audience to realize the courage and perseverance of the Jews from then until now. Ultimately, the traumatic and inhumane acts the author lived through and illustrated in the book serve as a warning to the readers of how horrifying and cruel human beings can truly be. The stated reasons overcome broader and more significant topics that allot a place for the genocide in human history, and the subconscious knowledge of today’s people.


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Holocaust Storytelling in Night by Wiesel. (2021, Dec 23). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/night-by-elie-wiesel-the-use-of-storytelling-to-portray-the-terrifying-nature-of-holocaust/

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