The Writing Style of Elie Wiesel
In the memoir Night, Elie Wiesel uses a distinct writing style to relate to his readers what emotions he experienced and how he changed while in the concentration camps of Buna, during the Holocaust. He uses techniques like irony, contrast, and an unrealistic way of describing what happens to accomplish this. By applying these techniques, Wiesel projects a tone of bitterness, confusion and grief into his story. Through his writing Wiesel gives us a window into the complete abandonment of reason he adopted and lived in during the Holocaust.
Wiesel uses a black irony to emphasize the absence of normality in the concentration camps. As Eliezer marches into Auschwitz he notices a sign with the caption, “Warning Danger of death” (137) and he asks himself, “was there a single place here where you were not in danger of death” (137). Eliezer has just entered a place where people put up signs that try to prevent you from dying, but at the same time purposely kill millions of people. This irony is a stark interruption to the somber situation that Eliezer is in and gives relief and contrast to the serious tone of the passage. The contrast also shows the abandonment of reason in the camp Eliezer has just entered and his nearly humorous outburst towards the sign in front of Auschwitz is a reflection of his own loss of rationality. In this passage, Wiesel foreshadows the dark mood that will be present in the rest of the book and warns us of the hopelessness and loss of reason Eliezer possesses in a place where there is no such thing as, “not in danger of death” (37).
Wiesel uses contrast to further emphasize the confusion he feels in the concentration camps. By using a combination of both descriptive and unclear details in his writing he leaves us confused, trying to figure out what’s happening. As Eliezer and his father rest on a Sunday the camp is bombed. During the confusion and the chaos two cauldrons of soup are...
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