The Night Essay, Research Paper
Title of work: NIGHT
Author and Date: Elie Wiesel, 1960
Country of Author: Transylvania
Moshe the Beadle— was one of the first of the Jew to be taken away that Elie knew closely. Moshe then escaped the massive ditches of death and was able to return to Sighet to tell them of what the Germans were doing. The rest of the people even Elie, thought that he had gone mad, so he pitied him.
Oberkapo— was apart of the 52nd cable unit at Buna who was Dutch. He also sabotaged the PowerStation. He had stocks of arms and was found and arrested. He was tortured for weeks, but never gave names of who else was involved. He was then transferred to Auschwitz.
— she was one of the ladies on the train to Auschwitz that was having illusions and screaming out loud on the train that there was fire outside of the windows. Everytime she that, the other people being gullible as they were, would look out the window. They soon tired of this, so they tied her up and gagged. The ordeal continued as she was able to free herself from her restraints and began yelling again. The other men finally smacked her around a little bit to knock a little common sense back into her, as her 10 year old son watched and tried to comfort her. She must have been suffering from terrible dehydration.
Akiba Drumer— He is a man that puts all of his faith into god, no matter what is happening at the moment, he believes that god will save him or protect him. He doesn’t want to open his eyes to the reality of things, where he could be the next one hanged in the middle court of the camp as an example of their relentless power over them. He even calculated that their deliverence was to be only a few weeks away, I think people began to tire of him as Elie did who realized that if their was a true god, they would have to be so many suffering like they were.
Sighet— This is the town that Elie came from with his family in the country of Transylvania. It was a moderate town that was mainly Jews at the time.
Auschwitz— The camp they were first taken to when they were deported from their recent country. It didn’t seem to be all that bad in the way they treated them personally, unless the camp itself killed them. Anytime, they could have been killed for the heck of it. Auschwitz also seemed like a processing center before another group of Jews had to march to another camp called Buna.
Crematory— It is what it says. These were used to cremate anybody unsatisfactory to live or just to get rid of anyone that wasn’t doing what they were told to do.
Big Ghetto— This was the bigger area that Jews took apart of the city, that meant that there were more Jews situated in this area than other parts, including the small ghetto.
Electric Factory— created electric for the camp to run it electricity off of.
Small Ghetto— this is probably the area closer to the outside of the suburbs that the Jews had settled into of Sighet.
Train—it was the transportation between Sighet and the camp of Auschwitz. The people complained of hunger, the heat was unbearable, they had not brought enough food for the entire trip since they hadn’t known how long it would be, and there wasn’t enough water to go around, so their were cases of dehydration like that of Madame Schachter.
The main plot of the story is the autobiography of himself in the book, NIGHT as it is during the holocaust. It shows just how the average Jew in the path of the rampant German Army were almost blind to the fact that they were coming to eliminate them. In the story, it tells how friends of his were making presumptions that the German Army would never reach Transylvania, that they would be stopped by allied forces or by the Russian Army, so they never even had the chance to become prepared to flee or what was about to happen in the coming weeks. Before the Jews in their small towns knew where the Germans were, they were already marching down their particular street. The Germans were good at deceiving the Jews, who thought that they were humble and were only stopping by, then the Germans struck their iron fist down and told the Jews to pack up. They were being shipped off to labor camps. Throughout this ordeal of hearing that the Germans were coming to the entering of the labor camp of Auschwitz, he inseparable with his father.
The Bells at Auschwitz: they symbolized the need for organization, so that there wasn’t the need to form chaos. When people were where they needed to be when a certain bell rang,
Nakedness: they were naked running through the blocks preceding their arrival at Auschwitz and on their was to getting clothes. This could have symbolized the need for vulnerability under the new German order.
Adding faith and God: this would symbolize faith for most people as it did for Akiba Drumer. He thought very highly of god, and that it was only a test. Whereas, Elie began not to believe in his faith.
Smoke: it was the burning of flesh and bones turning into ash. This must have symbolized death and to strike fear into those that had thoughts other than to stay at the concentration camp.
Billy Club: this was a symbol of power, order, and the answer to consequences if a Jew had done something wrong that the Germans didn’t agree with.
Knife & spoon: this could have symbolized possession, for they had very little to take into account for themselves.
Other Imagery and Purpose:
1) 3rd paragraph of page 13. “The women were cooking eggs, roasting meat, baking cakes, and making knapsacks. The children wandered all over the place, hanging their heads, not knowing what to do with themselves, where to go, to keep from getting in the way of grown-ups. Our backyard had become a real marketplace. Household treasure, valuable carpets, silver candelabra, prayer books, Bibles, and other religious articles littered the dusty ground beneath a wonderfully blue sky; pathetic objects which looked as though they had never belonged to anyone.”
2) Bottom of page 83. “We went through a deserted village. Not a living soul. Not the bark of a dog. Houses with gaping windows. A few slipped out of the ranks to try and hide in some deserted building.”
3) Bottom page 97. “Other, feeling that they too were going to die, imitated his cry. And their cries seemed to come from beyond the grave. Soon everyone was crying out. Wailing, groaning, cries of distress hurled into the and the snow.”
Significance of Title:
The title of the novel, makes a statement to what Jew in the holocaust may have felt, like the whole event was a dark night. During the day, their could have been people just dying all around him (Elie), moaning in pain from being beaten. There could have been worse torturing behind closed doors, whereas you would think it could only be a dream, and that the horror would soon end as you woke up. Yet you never did wake up, it could have been only worse. There is most likely 100 times more information that Elie Wiesel could have added to how even worse it was in his book.
1) One of the themes in NIGHT was how it was brought about that the Germans didn’t care, they only wanted to rid themselves of those Jews. So here, there is the inhumanity to the fellow man. They are treated sometimes, like they weren’t even human. Beaten, punched, and smacked over the head. The Jews could have done something that the Germans didn’t understand, or like, but to leave the Jews beaten and barely able to stand wasn’t good.
2) Another example is the yellow star. It brought the Jews out of the crowd with a bright yellow star on their shoulder or back. This was also the chance to also humiliate them.
3) Deprivation to food and water. Sometimes the camp prisoners were censequnced to no food or water. Also, they didn’t always get very much to eat either. So they were quite, deprived, then they had work the whole day till they were fed again. Then any person that was beginning to become weak were sent to the crematory.
4) Death and torture. The part where the Germans get a point across. They wanted them to do what they were told, or follow the rules of the camp. If they didn’t, they could have easily also been tortured.