Summary Of Night By Elie Wiesel

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At what point does respect no longer matter?
When does the need for survival take over grief?
When do the tears dry up in order to stay alive?
When is it okay to force a radical change in ethics and increase suffering on innocents?
The answers to the first three are more complicated, but the last question is a firm and definite never. People who have been forced into situations where the death rate and conditions were so horrible have had to adapt to great extents in order to stay alive. Their thought process seems inhumane and apathetic to the average human, but without the insanity they wouldn’t have the ability to survive. One can’t spend their entire life mourning the dead, or they will get swept up into the grave. Elie Wiesel understands …show more content…

His nonchalant diction further gives insight to the moral changes the people were forced to make by the Nazis. The effect of death was much smaller after all the repeated instances he witnessed. After a hanging, a rare public death, Elie noted “on that evening, the soup tasted better than ever,” an unexpected answer after being forced to watch someone die (Wiesel 63). When recalling a death march, Elie very nonchalantly states “[the SS officers] had orders to shoot anyone who could not sustain the pace. Their fingers on the triggers, they did not deprive themselves of the pleasure. If one of [the prisoners] stopped for a second, a quick shot eliminated the filthy dog,” there was no commentary on the morality of the officers or the impact it had on Elie (Wiesel 85). This lack of commentary and matter-of-fact way of stating these tragic events increases the awareness of the emotions they had to repress in order to survive. His dictional use of euphemism also emphasizes this point. They refer to the death camps as “work camps,” the place where millions died as the “crematoria” or “chimneys,” and the place where many were gassed as “showers.” Changing the names to more benign titles made them have less power, as though they were common things that didn’t have any effect on those who were not in them. This diction creates an apathetic tone, showing the …show more content…

Sleep means more than just a time of rest. One of the lowest points in the book, the night after their rigorous death march, the motif is well shown. “Deep down inside, [Elie] knew that to sleep meant to die,” the Holocaust took the emotions out, and left death as something as mundane and pedestrian as sleep (Wiesel 89). Every night was a struggle. During the day, death was just as likely, but at least there would be someone to save you. To illustrate, on one of the transport cattle cars, dead prisoners were being thrown off to make more room, and his father was in a very deep sleep and almost added to the pile of corpses. This is a very literal example of the motif. His father was mistaken as dead when he was asleep, as sleep stands for death. Another terrifying part about sleep was that it was unpredictable. If someone angered the SS officers or was written down in the selection process, they would have a predictable, known death. Many people went to sleep not knowing if they would wake up. After arriving in Buchenwald, they are exhausted from the travel. They were to take actual showers and go to their bunks, but Elie’s father was too weak and wanted to lie down on the ground. “[Elie] pointed to the corpses around him; they too had wanted to rest [there],” Elie’s father wanted to “let them sleep. They [hadn’t] closed an eye for so long … [They were] exhausted”

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