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elie wiesel

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The definition of the word night is the time of darkness between sunrise and sunset but the meaning of the word night is something totally different to Elie Wiesel. Ever since the holocaust the word night to Elie Wiesel has meant more than darkness, it has meant death and loss of hope and he expresses that feeling in his book Night.
In his book he wrote, “So much had happened within such a few hours that I had lost all sense of time. When had we left our houses? And the ghetto? And the train? Was it only a week? One night-one single night?” ( Page 24) This quote symbolizes the loss of time in the concentration camps because they were so concerned on getting something to eat and staying alive that they had no time to keep up with how many days they had been gone from their home, or what the date was on that certain day. The darkness of night characterizes the train ride to Auschwitz when Madame Schachter started to act insane. Elie had said in his book that, “Madame Schachter had gone out of her mind. On the first day of the journey she had already begun the moan and to keep asking why she had been separated from her family. As time went on, her cried grew hysterical.”(Page 16) He also wrote that she kept screaming out “Fire! Fire!”(Page 16) but she was just seeing thing from all the punishment she had been through and all the neglect. In the book the word night also symbolizes death. The darkness reminds Elie of the night he and his father arrived in Auschwitz and when they stepped out of the cattle car they arrived in the first thing they smelled for roasting flesh which is described in this quote. “In front of us flames. In the air the smells of burnig flesh. It must have been about midnight. We had arrived at Birkenau, reception center for Auschwitz.” But the worst memory about the darkness and death of night to Elie was the death of his father. He had tried extremely hard to keep his father healthy. He even gave him half of his soup that he got to eat for the day to try to keep him fed and to keep death away, but in the end it was not enough to keep his father alive and he died at night when they were sleeping. To some people the meaning of the word night might mean the time between sunset and sunrise or the time of day when the moon is up in the sky, but to Elie Wiesel it means something he never wants to remember. The title of the book means that it is a time of death and darkness and a time that no one would like to remember.

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