Night by Elie Wiesel Essay

Topics: Elie Wiesel, The Holocaust, Symbol Pages: 2 (555 words) Published: September 3, 2014
Symbolism is a powerful way for authors to convey a message or feeling to a reader. This idea of symbolism is heavily used by Elie Wiesel in his account of the holocaust, Night. He uses concepts such as night time, faith, suffering and family to send a significant message to his readers. Symbolism is not only an important concept in literature but also in life. Wiesel stresses the importance of remembrance and education through the symbolism in his memoir.

Night is a heavily used concept used by Wiesel. Not only is it the title of the book but it carries an underlying implication. The general emotions evoked by the notion of night are loneliness, vulnerability and sometimes even fear. As children and very often even as adults, night and darkness create a sense of fear within us. It often causes people to feel alone and enclosed. Associated with night is darkness. A connotation of this is that night blinds you with its darkness. These ideas can be applied to the emotions felt by victims of the holocaust. To those people it felt like the end. Many of these people did things that they wouldn’t have normally done because of fear, of being blinded. Wiesel discusses how much concentration camp had changed him. After seeing his father hit by a Gypsy Wiesel states “I stood petrified. What had happened to me? My father had just been struck, in front of me, and I had not even blinked. I had watched and kept silent. Only yesterday, I would have dug my nails into this criminal’s skin. Had I changed that much? So fast?”. Prisoners had lost faith in life and in their religion. To them it was a dark and lonely hell that they would never escape.

Perhaps one of the most paramount symbols used is that of the “angelic pipel”. Three prisoners where brought in chains, a child being one. The two older adults died with ease as the gallows were placed around their neck but the child had a significantly harder time, as he struggled between life and death. This was an unshakable...
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