Although both Night, a memoir by Elie Wiesel, and Life Is Beautiful, a film by Roberto Benigni are both about the Holocaust, they each have their own distinguishing characteristics that make them unique. Examining the tone, genre, and themes in both works provides one with a good understanding of the similarities and differences of each work.
The tone of Night is very melancholy the whole way through because its about Wiesel's experiences in the holocaust. Wiesel clearly sets the tone in a couple devastating scenes. In chapter one, Moshie explains, “they were forced to dig huge trenchs... without passion or haste, they shot the prisoners, who were forced to approach the trench one by one and offer their necks. Infants were tossed into the air and used as targets for the machine guns.” (Wiesel 6) This is the scene that really set the tone for the book. Since Night is a memoir as apposed to a comedy film it is ten times as graphic and is full of Wiesel’s personal details, which limit the readers view to only Ellie’s experiences and it also means that the information covered is limited. The film is energetic and upbeat til the middle of the film. At the middle it takes a dramatic turn when Guido and his son are sent to the concentration camp, the film never completely looses its upbeat tone intirely tho as Guido did everything in his power to convince his son that it was all a game for his birthday. there was a few dramatic scenes, like when Guido was shot dead, but other then the select few scenes the second half of the movie is bittersweet in a way.
Night is an autobiography set in the holocaust, being someones own experience gives it a more reliable view of the time period and also the facts in the memoir are 100 percent factual which gives it more shock value. Elie’s experiences help one better understand the holocaust as well as understanding Elie. Life is Beautiful is a dramatic comedy set in the holocaust, but honestly could of been set in any time...
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