The Symbolism Of The Night In Eliie's Night

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The symbol of the night here represents the events of the Holocaust, which are so terrifying that they don’t seem real. The use of the word nightmare highlights the immense feelings that Elie goes through. Nightmares are usually times when one experiences strong fear that may not always have a logical explanation. Here, Elie is not only afraid for his life, but for his whole existence and identity.

The night is a time when God is not looking upon his people – the time of the Devil. The symbol of the long night represents the abandonment of God from Elie. By turning Elie’s life into a single long night, the camps make him disregard his religion to focus on his survival, turning him from a human into an animal. The horrors of the camps change Elie’s
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Elie feels the same way towards the concentration camps, where dignity and self-respect do not matter and anything immoral and inhumane is possible.
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For Stein, the relative from Antwerp, family is everything. His only reason for trying to survive is the false hope that one day he may meet his family once again. This passage tells us about the importance of the loved ones in the rough conditions of the camps. Stein’s only purpose are his wife and children.

The camp changes Elie, it breaks the link he used to have to his father. Even though they seem inseparable, they are alone when it comes to survival and endurance. Elie’s only wish upon seeing the beating is to get away in case the supervisor attacks him. This moment demonstrates that in the camp survival comes before anything else, even one’s family.

The image of the pipel is key to the father-son relationships in the book, as it shows a fate Elie is desperately trying to evade. The pipel show the worst side of the camps, which not only kill the Jews, but also turn them against each other. The traditional family ideals are turned around - instead of helping their elders, the youth use them as slaves.

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