- What is the author’s perception of his work?
In the preface, the author explains that of all his works, Night is the most important one. It is the epitome of his work as a writer. (p. 3)
- What human qualities does Wiesel appeal to?
He appeals to compassion. In the opening part he writes that for someone who is devoted to healing and caring for others understanding what happened might be close to impossible. (p. 12)
- Why does the author talk about all of the little things? Such as the military march and other procedures.
Weisel wants the reader to know every small detail. How everything unfolded on a daily basis. Every day. He writes about the line ups, the food, the punishments.
- Why does the author talk about the relationships between the “veterans” and the newcomers?
He wishes to underscore the fact that there was no friendship and much rivalry among the inmates. He writes: “The ‘veteran’ inmates treated us with brutality.” (p. 66) Thus, in the concentration camp one never knew where the danger would approach from. It could be from someone (another inmate) that one thought could be trusted.
- How did the inmates manage to not go crazy under such inhumane conditions?
Despite the rivalry and the abuse, there was an element of union. In his book, Wiesel recounts the evenings when they would lie in their beds, singing Hasidic songs and melodies. (p. 70) Also, they would have spiritual conversations.
- Why does Wiesel talk about the encounters that he had with the inmates upon leaving the concentration camp, many years later?
Through the intertwining of these memories, the author points to the importance of constructing a single narrative. For instance, on page 53, he talks about the woman who worked in the warehouse for electrical parts and how he saw her years later in Paris.
- What was the principal emotion experienced in the camp?
Fear. The author writes that it was even more profound than hunger.
- How does he describe the Nazis?
On page 61, he talks about an SS officer. Wiesel describes him as tall and strong, “a giant compared to me.” Basically, feeling small was not only an emotional aspect, but a physical one. The fear was never-ending.
- What does the author tell the readers about the hangings?
The hangings were one of the most profound punishments. During one of the hangings, Wiesel saw a man weep. Something that was really rare in concentration camps.
- What did the veterans tell Wiesel?
On one of the book pages, he talks about the veterans telling the newcomers that the camp was very different “two years ago.” (p. 70) One thought of spending that much time in the camp is terrifying.
- What is one of the most touching and sad moments?
When the old rabbi says that God is no longer with them (p. 76)
- How does the storyline unfold?
Step by step, the reader is taken on a journey of hope lost.
- What is one of the most psychologically profound moments?
To me, it was when Wiesel talked about his body as a separate entity. (p. 85)
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