Statement of the Author’s Purpose
The reason that Elie Wiesel writes this book is to make sure that nobody will ever forget about the terrible events that happened during the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel writes the book to tell everyone his own experiences as a Jew during the Holocaust and how it has affected him. Elie Wiesel writes the book with a lot of detail because when writing Elie Wiesel is just simply telling us about his life as a Jew during the Holocaust. During his story, he describes to his readers what it was like to be Jewish before and after he was taken from his home in Sighet.
As he tells readers of the terrible conditions in the Nazi concentration camps, he makes us imagine how bad it would have been to be alive if we were him. During some parts of the story, he would question himself of God and about God’s existence because of the tortures things that were being done to both him and his family in Auschwitz and later in Buchenwald. The book Night is a really good historical story. Elie Wiesel also has a hidden message that even though you have to go through hard times in life sometimes, God will always be with you.
Author’s Intended Audience
Elie Wiesel wrote this book for people who want to get a better understanding of the Holocaust and to those who remembered the Holocaust. He knows that as time passes, the attention to the Holocaust will fade. By presenting about the Holocaust, Wiesel is speaking to both the historical audience and the modern one. It is here where the moral point of view will make Elie Wiesel speak to both the audience of the modern setting, warning them of what happens when a lack of interest becomes socially accepted. At the same time, Wiesel is speaking to a historical audience that understand that the lack of interest was responsible for the terrible crimes that were done during the Holocaust. It is here where Wiesel’s audience is both in the present and in the past and shocks both places over what is seen today.
Discussion on the speaker
The power of Elie Wiesel’s narrative is based on both his feelings and his reactions and how honest he is about them. When he sees the crematory he says, “A truck drew close and unloaded its hold: small children. Babies! Yes, I did see this with my own eyes….children thrown into the flames”. The fact that Elie Wiesel states this without any hesitation makes the narrative a lot more stronger.
On the next page he says, “Someone began to recite Kaddish, the prayer for the dead. I don’t know whether, during the history of the Jewish people, men have ever before recited Kaddish for themselves…. For the first time I felt anger rising within me. Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was there to thank Him for?” When Wiesel repeats these questions, Wiesel makes his point stronger by saying that they are not answerable. Although this book was written when he was an adult, he takes the feelings that he had as a teenager and then recaptures it. At the end of the book, Wiesel is not surprised at all by his image in the mirror. But the still effect of it upon his soul, his inner self, is made clear in the final sentence, “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me.”
Discussion on the Diction on one page of the novel
Wiesel uses diction to make his own fears of the concentration camps. For example, earlier in the book, Elie Wiesel describes how the ghettos he was living in were ruled by delusion with a sense of normal surrounding them. With the word choice, he shows the bad sense of security that the ghettos had in Sighet. But, once they are moved to Birkenau and the real evil is staring into their faces, their fears started to digout. For example, Elie Wiesel describes himself and his fellow prisoners being terrified after a threat that they say, “you will be burned”. He later describes a French girl who is paralyzed with fear, and describes the struggle that he and his prisoners had felt of the unguarded cauldrons of soup, only stopped by the fact that their fear was greater and worse than their hunger. Wiesel shows us the deep level of fear felt to show us how these experiences caused Wiesel and the other prisoners to become frightened with fear. Wiesel shows the early effects of the concentration camps through the use of diction to show how the Jews calm eventually turned into terror.
Response to a quote from the text
Quote: “Standing in the middle of the car, in the faint light filtering through the windows, she looked like a withered tree in a field of wheat.”
The word withered describes Mrs. Schachter, and also possibly adding on to her physical description. It shows her rapid mental decline. What was left of her mind was decaying away. She had lost grips with reality due to the bad conditions that were put upon her by the Nazis. This shows the reader the effects of this evil cruelty on the mind and just how difficult it was. Also what left me in wonder was that throughout the train ride, Mrs. Schachter is frightened and screams of a fire that can only be seen by her own delusions. But after she plays the woman who cried fire a few times, she is somehow surprisingly correct.
If this was a fiction piece, I would just label it as foreshadowing by the author and move on, but this is a nonfiction memoir. Somehow, either by pure luck or some magical force, Mrs. Schächter was able to predict the flames that rose from the chimneys of Auschwitz which was sadly the fate of many Jews and most likely her own fate as well. This left me in amazement and sadness.
Which discusses one instance of a rhetorical device
Quote: “Oh God, Master of the Universe, give me the strength never to do what Rabbi Eliahu’s son has done.”
This quote shows a instance of foreshadowing. In this scene, Wiesel has just seen Rabbi Eliahu’s son abandon his own father during their journey of death throughout the snow. This obvious lack of empathy for a family member shocks and angers Wiesel who, when arrived at the concentration camps, sweared to himself to hang on to his humanity and never lose that part of him. Witnessing that abandonment by someone that Wiesel once respected repeats Wiesel’s promise to himself that he will never ever be that cruel to his father. However, the fact that this scene occurs right near the end of the book in a most terrible situation while the Jewish prisoners are being forced to walk through the woods in the winter, it creates a sense of foreshadowing, as it suggests that there will be an upcoming scene where Wiesel’s solution to the problem will be tested and the reader is left unsure whether or not Wiesel will break his promise to himself.
Elie Wiesel had loyalty to his father, he would always try to encourage his father and also himself to stay alive for each other. He feels that if he died or left his father, his father would die to. For example he says, “I had no right to let myself die. What would he do without me? I was his only support.” This is a good trait because it helped his father stay alive. And because Wiesel’s father lived longer, it gave Wiesel a reason to live.
In the beginning of the story, Wiesel was very religious. He was usually involved in something religious. But that soon began to change. The camps in the holocaust were so horrible that they just simply destroyed Wiesel’s dreams and beliefs. Not many people have traits like Wiesel. Wiesel had strong determination, loyalty, and was very religious. These traits were important because they helped him manage through his life to survive. And because he was able to survive, he was able to write about the events that occurred during the holocaust. If we know more about it, we can learn ways of preventing another horrible massacre from happening. If you don’t learn history, it will repeat itself.
Regarding a Premise in the Novel
The author, Elie Wiesel, argues that humans are naturally selfish. They may hide it with morals, laws, etc. But, once those things are taken away, we can become desperate and when we become desperate, only our own world will start to matter. There is a mindset that is placed in everyone’s mind that in the end only the person’s own self will matter to them. To reach one’s own needs is the means of survival. Morals cannot simply just put food in your belly. Laws cannot get rid of your thirst. Relationships cannot get rid of death when they are in the same situation. The thought, “Why should I help another when I myself is barely alive?” takes control of our mind that it will become the truth. This was the truth of Wiesel when he was put in very terrible conditions. This was simply the truth of humanity. Humans are selfish. This side of mankind will never disappear and the author Elie Wiesel strongly argues this point through the image of human actions that are shown throughout the novel. He argues against the illusions of a good person. No one can be good. Not when there is darkness lurking around that people might think will disappear but instead that darkness never will.
Imitation of the author’s style
In Elie Wiesel’s writing, instead of just describing how terrifying it was to be a Jew during the time of the Nazis, Wiesel gives an example of a person who changed a whole lot by German terror. Wiesel shows us this instead of telling us about these experiences, and he does a very good job of drawing the reader in and carry his message. The book Night is a powerful and moving piece of literature.The way that Wiesel gives such a personal and strong intense account of his experiences is what makes it so effective. One example is when Wiesel and his family are beginning to leave their home he says, “My father wept. It was the first time I had ever seen him weep. I had never imagined that he could. As for my mother, she walked with a set expression on her face, without a word, deep in thought. I looked at my little sister Tzipora, her fair hair well combed, a red coat over her arm, a little girl of seven. The bundle on her back was too heavy for her.
She gritted her teeth. She knew by now that it would be useless to complain”. Wiesel does a really powerful job at drawing the reader in by giving the reader a transition from his peaceful and normal life to his sudden deportation. He gives us plenty of background information to get on a personal and strong level with the reader. I like Wiesel for writing honestly instead of just providing a bunch of disgusting examples of Jewish abuse, he takes the terror of the Jews during the Holocaust through a lot of interesting ideas that he introduces. Night is such an inspiring book because the author describes his experiences with so much emotion. When doing this he does not need to explain his hate for the Nazis, because the reader is able to feel it through the strong dark tone.
The Author’s Tone
The tone in Wiesel’s Night is very dark. In the writing, Wiesel doesn’t have any places that brighten up the spirit with some pleasant things. He shows us that there is not a lot of happiness in the concentration camps. The tone is very unhappy. Wiesel mourns about the Jews not paying attention to the warnings of the things that the Germans were going to do. He moans about his family and his childhood. He also mournes about the terrible situations and how he was not a very good son and wishes how he could have been a lot better.
The tone in Night is also very honest. Wiesel not only hides things away from us when describing moments that he regrets about. He doesn’t hide away the fact that he didn’t protect his father from the officer that smashed his father’s head. He doesn’t hide away the fact that his father died alone when Wiesel went to bed. Wiesel is very reflective about his experiences and he shows us his feeling of guilt.
The tone in the book overall is surprisingly neither angry nor hateful. Wiesel at the age of 15 was probably mad at the SS officers but overall the narrative tone does not show that Wiesel shows hate toward the SS officers. Another thing is that Wiesel does not accuse of other people during different events in his writing. He never blames and judges other people that treated both him and his father terribly. Without using any angry language, Wiesel shows us the point that this situation was very scary and brutal. He shows us that this should never be allowed to happen again.