Night By Elie Wiesel Themes Essays

The Theme Of Darkness In Night By Elie Wiesel

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 in Eliezer's situation; as his faith deteriorates, his spirit is taken over by night: an empire of darkness takes control over his inner being (Fine 53). From the moment he enters Auschwitz, darkness becomes internal when he loses faith in God (Fine 49). From this loss of faith, a sense of desertion and emptiness is created; Eliezer feels he is left alone in the darkness without God, trapped in one long, hellish night ("Night" 243). In spite of these overwhelming emotions, originating from the cruel and brutal treatment he endures, Eliezer manages to muster what little hope his weakening faith allows. Unfortunately, this hope, this light in the darkness, becomes a heavy burden to bear for such a weakened spirit as his ("Night" 244). The frailty of Eliezer's wavering faith is shown with the words, "This day I had ceased to plead. I was no longer capable of lamentation. I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone-terribly alone in a world without God and without man. Without love or mercy" (Wiesel 65). This line expresses the solitude and despair Eliezer suffers in a world where God, the only light, is extinguished and replaced by deep anguish and malice, which is night. Eliezer's loss of faith distinctly illustrates the powerful impact the theme of night has when used to show the emotions of prisoners of the Holocaust.

More often than not, when the Holocaust is thought of, a term that comes to mind is death. The death of innocent people, the death of a race, the death of hope, the death of humanity, and more importantly, the death of God. The hanging of a child at Buna represents the...

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The Main Themes in Night Essay

704 Words3 Pages


One of the main themes throughout the book is the title of the book “Night”. There are references from Eliezer about night during the book, which are full of symbolism. The word “night” is used repeatedly, and Eliezer recounts every dusk, night and dawn through the entire book. For instance, Night could be a metaphor for the Holocaust—submerge the family and thousands of Jewish families in the darkness and misery of the concentration camps.

Another reference to night is the night before the family is taken to the ghetto, Eliezer explains, “Night. No one prayed, so that the night would pass quickly. The stars were only sparks of the fire, which devoured us. Should that fire die out one day, there would be nothing left…show more content…

Throughout the book, his attutude about religion changes as night progresses. In the beginning of the book, Moche tells Eliezer that one must seek to ask God the right questions, not to find out the right answers. One simply cannot understand the answer God gives: “You will find the true answers Eliezer, only within yourself.”

In the concentration camp Eliezer can’t understand why God allows so much death and destruction, and even though he is angry and questions God he never loses his faith. Although Eliezer never has his questions answered he never loses his faith. Eliezers evolving relationship with God is a major source of character development for himself.

The third important theme is the inadvertent role the Jews play in their destruction. The foolish optimism—nothing bad will happen. An example of this is when they were forced to move to the ghetto, the townspeople act relieved that they don’t have to deal with overt prejudice anymore: “We should no longer have before our eyes those hostile faces, those hate-laden stars. Our fear and anguish were at an end, we were living among Jews, among brothers.” ( ) Moral of Ethical Issues:

The concentration camps were beginning to remove all emotion from the people. They stopped feeling anything for others, and began only thinking of themselves. For example, when an iron bar beats Eliezers father, Eliezer feels no pity or compassion. He is madder at his father for not being

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