Night Essay Prompts

Wiesel feels compelled to bear witness to the suffering that he experienced and observed in the concentration camps.In he narrates the experience of the deaths of his family members, the death of his adolescence, and the death in his naïve belief in man’s innate goodness.Elie struggles with the same conflict when his father becomes ill, and when his father finally dies, Elie is profoundly sad though also proud that he never wholly compromised his own beliefs about family.

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The literal time of night in the camps is not a period of rest or respite for the Jewish prisoners; instead, it is a continuation of the persistent anxiety and fear that are experienced during the day.

At the same time, night does have some positive qualities, permitting the prisoners to talk with one another and attempt to hang onto the last vestiges of normal social interactions. It is dark and obscure, a time when people with nefarious motives operate. When he is finally liberated from the concentration camp, it is not clear whether the night has given way to day.

The worker watched the spectacle with great interest." (100)“On my return from the bread distribution, I found my father crying like a child." (109) “Listen to me, kid. In this place, it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. In this place, there is no such thing as father, brother, friend. Since my father’s death, nothing mattered to me anymore." (113)“I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. And deep inside me, if I could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, I might have found something like: Free at last! Only of bread." (115) “From the depths of the mirror, a corpse was contemplating me.

Each of us lives and dies alone." (110)“I remained in Buchenwald until April 11. " (112)“Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. The look in his eyes as he gazed at me has never left me." (115)Reference: Wiesel, Elie.

The pervasiveness of unparalleled evil perpetrated by the Germans against the Jews shattered young Elie’s hopefulness and his belief in the innate goodness of human beings.

Although he could have retained that view throughout the remainder of his life, ultimately shows how Wiesel was eventually able to restore hope and optimism and belief in others and to live with the enormous burden of pain that he carries.

Many episodes in the memoir involve food—either its lack, its inadequacy, or its use as a tool to stimulate desired behavior.

In fact, over time the Jewish prisoners come to use food in much the same way that the Germans do.

Although there are still Jewish prisoners who share their food with one another, some of the prisoners insist upon a survival strategy that Elie finds difficult to accept.

That survival strategy involves hoarding one’s food and other limited material goods for oneself in an every-man-for-himself philosophy.


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