Night Reflection Essay

A Reflection Paper On Night By Elie Wiesel

Night, an autobiography by Eliezer Weisel, recounts his experience of being a Jew in the Holocaust during the early 1840's. The story explores the escalation of fear in the Jews and its overriding presence in their lives, Eliezer's crisis of faith, and the loss of humanity in the Jewish people including the numerous images of death put forth in the book. Weisel portrays their fears in ways we could never dream of and makes us look at how people are affected spiritually in the wake of dehumanizing suffering. Also, he portrays in the story how the Jews were stripped of everything in the Holocaust including their human dignity and self worth.

The escalation of fear is a common thread throughout this book. In the beginning, when all foreign Jews were expelled from their town of Sighet, the remaining Jews pretended that those exported were better off wherever they were now. Then, when Moishe the Beadle (an exported Jewish foreigner) returned to Sighet one day and told the Jews how he had escaped by pretending he had been killed along with the others, he was titled as a madman who only wanted their pity. The Jews refused to even listen to Moishe the Beadle let alone accept anything he said as the truth. The Jews lived in denial and in a state of pretending up until the point in which they were transported and brought to the concentration camp at Birkenau. At that point fear became real in the eyes of the Jews for they saw for themselves the flames from the crematorium and the smell of burning flesh. From then on fear guided their every waking moment for it enveloped their common sense and being. It began to control them and it made them act in unimaginable ways. Eliezer feared losing everything he had. This was in a way a driving force that kept him alive. For example, when the alarm at the concentration camp sounded and everyone had to stay in their barracks, a couple of pots of soup were left unguarded. Even though they were starving, fear overcame hunger. However, there was one Jew who was bold enough to risk his life for an extra ration of soup and who ended up with a bullet in his back. This scene cemented their fear of death in everyone's mind.

One of the main conflicts in Eliezer Wiesel's life is his struggle with his faith. Before the Holocaust, Eliezer was a deeply observant scholar who had devouted much of his time towards his faith and studies. His faith in God was unconditional and seemed unchangeable up until the moment he left his train car and arrived at the death camp. It was at that point in his life when he would never regard his faith with the same view again. He did not understand why the God he had spent so much time on throughout his life would just suddenly desert him and the whole Jewish race....

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

989 words - 4 pages Madame Shacter was screaming about the fire, the huge flames and the furnace that she could see. Then she was begging the people on the train to believe her but instead they gagged her and tied her up. In a way, Madame Shacter was prophesying about the crematories at the death camps, the huge flames and the furnaces that turn the Jewish nation into ashes.'I believe profoundly. During the day I studied the Talmud, and at night I run to...

Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

1923 words - 8 pages Night by Elie Wiesel Nobody wants to read such a morbid book as Night. There isn’t anybody (other than the Nazis and Neo-Nazis) who enjoys reading about things like the tortures, the starvation, and the beatings that people went through in the concentration camps. Night is a horrible tale of murder and of man’s inhumanity towards man. We must, however, read these kinds of books regardless. It is an indefinitely depressing subject, but...

Night by Elie Wiesel

1249 words - 5 pages The book Night, written by Elie Wiesel, is a horrifying, historic account of Wiesel’s time in multiple German concentration camps. His work gained him a Nobel Peace Prize. His acceptance speech and further lectures enlightened many other readers. Elie Wiesel’s eye-opening Night is very relevant for real life. This stunning book is applicable because of its education about World War II for the Jewish, inspiration to the human race in their...

"Night" By: Elie Wiesel

1208 words - 5 pages Eliezar Wiesel is a real-life character. He is a Jewish boy who grew up during Hitler's unbearable reign as dictator. Eliezar, better known as Elie, was a boy of strong faith and an eagerness to learn more about his Jewish belief. His father, Chlomo, was...

Night by Elie Wiesel

1045 words - 4 pages The “Revisionist” How could one dieny that the mass murder of six million jews never happened? These revisionist, or deniers, like to believe that it never did. Even with the witnesses, photos, buildings and other artifacts left behind, they still believe that the Holocaust is a hoax. The Holocaust deniers are wrong because there are people who have survived that wrote books, there is proof that Jews were being killed, and other evidence and...

Night by Elie Wiesel - 1115 words

1115 words - 4 pages In the novel Night, by Elie Wiesal presents the readers with many theme’s throughout the long journey of Elie, and his miraculous survival of one of the toughest experiences known to man. The major theme throughout the whole story is Elie’s struggle to maintain any sort of faith in god or a god like figure. As we meet Elie in the beginning, we see that God is a constant in this young boys life. He even stated “Why did I pray? . . . Why did I...

"Night" written by Elie Wiesel.

527 words - 2 pages "For the Dead and the Living,We must Bear Witness"The living and the dead must tell their stories of the largest killings of the 20th century. One man taking power of Germany doesn't like Jews. In fact, he hates them. Adolf Hitler wanted to annihilate the...

Critical Lens Essay on the book Night by Elie Wiesel.

1298 words - 5 pages "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." That quote is from Elie Wiesel in his Nobel Peace Prize Speech. I agree with the quotation. In the story Night by Elie Wiesel, many elements correspond to the quote and to the idea of...

Elie Wiesel Thoughts On Humanity - Night

729 words - 3 pages In Night Elie Wiesel had two thoughts on humanity. He explored how evil humans can be and how resilient humans can be to such cruelty. The prisoners managed to not lose hop throughout all of the hardships they went through. Elie Wiesel showed many ways that people can be evil towards others. In the...

Dehumanization in Night, by Elie Wiesel

1106 words - 4 pages In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald writes “He was so terrible that he was no longer terrible, only dehumanized”. This idea of how people could become almost unimaginably cruel due to dehumanization corresponds with the Jews experience in the Holocaust. The Holocaust was the ruthless massacre of Jewish people, and other people who were consider to be vermin to the predetermined Aryan race in the 1940s. One holocaust...

Book Review of "Night" by Elie Wiesel

522 words - 2 pages The Holocaust is a haunting time in the history of the world. The book "Night" by Elie Wiesel captures Wiesel's haunting experience during the Holocaust. A book like this is one that is not read for enjoyment, but rather for information. If one wants to be able to...

Below you will find five outstanding thesis statements for Night by Elie Wiesel that can be used as essay starters or paper topics. All five incorporate at least one of the themes found in the text and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Night by Elie Wiesel in terms of different elements that could be important in an essay. You are, of course, free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them for your essay. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: Bearing Witness: The Power of the Memoir Genre

Night is just one of many memoirs written by Elie Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust. Wiesel feels compelled to bear witness to the suffering that he experienced and observed in the concentration camps. In Night 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. The power of the genre of the memoir is that it captures experience and insists that forgetting about such crimes against humanity is not an option, neither for Wiesel nor for the reader.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: The Death of Innocence and the Restoration of Hope

In Night, memoirist Elie Wiesel shares his most personal memories of the Holocaust, which he experienced directly and during which he lost his family and many friends. 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, Night 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. The process that Wiesel endures in order to arrive at the restoration of hope is only hinted at, however. In the last line of the memoir, Wiesel alludes that the stare that is returned to him when he looks in a mirror compelled him to move forward in his life and to reject impulses of death.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Father-Son Relationships

One of the most painful situations and preoccupying thoughts that trouble young Elie involve the ways in which father-son relationships are torn asunder by the camps. He watches as sons deny—or at least consider denying—care to their fathers, putting their own interests before familial ties. 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. The reason that Elie finds the deterioration of father-son relationships so painful is that the maintenance of this relationship seems to be the last barrier between a world that is semi-normal and one that has completely been turned upside down. Elie must continue to care for his ailing father because to do otherwise would mean that he had become as evil as the Germans.

Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #4: The Metaphor of Night

Wiesel’s memoir is simply titled Night. 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. Night also has a symbolic function, however. It is dark and obscure, a time when people with nefarious motives operate. To young Elie, the night feels never-ending. When he is finally liberated from the concentration camp, it is not clear whether the night has given way to day. Elie will have a long way to go to find his way to the light and the restoration of a somewhat normal life.

Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #5: Food

Food is understandably a major preoccupation among the prisoners in the concentration camp. 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. When the camps are liberated, food remains an important objects, both a literal object and a symbolic signifier of all that has been taken from the Jews and all that they will need to do to nourish themselves to heal.


This list of important quotations from Night by Elie Wiesel will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from Night by Elie Wiesel listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text by Elie Wiesel they are referring to.

“We settled in. (What a word!)." (20)
“A terrible thought crossed my mind: What if he had wanted to be rid of his father? He had felt his father growing weaker…had thought…to free himself of a burden that could diminish his own change for survival. It was good that I had forgotten all that." (91).

“One day when we had come to a stop, a worker took a piece of bread out of his bag and threw it into a wagon. There was a stampede. Dozens of starving men fought desperately over a few crumbs. 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. Don’t forget that you are in a concentration camp. In this place, it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father. In this place, there is no such thing as father, brother, friend. Each of us lives and dies alone." (110)

“I remained in Buchenwald until April 11. I shall not describe my life during that period. It no longer mattered. Since my father’s death, nothing mattered to me anymore." (113)

“I did not weep, and it pained me that I could not weep. But I was out of tears. And deep inside me, if I could have searched the recesses of my feeble conscience, I might have found something like: Free at last!" (112)

“Our first act as free men was to throw ourselves onto the provisions. That’s all we thought about. No thought of revenge, or of parents. Only of bread." (115)

“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." (115)

Reference: Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill and Wang, 1972
<

0 thoughts on “Night Reflection Essay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *