Many atrocities have occurred throughout history but none have been as terrible as the the Holocaust. Night, by Elie Wiesel, recounts the events experienced by the author during this nightmare. This book portrays how Wiesel changed throughout his experiences. There is a tremendous difference between the literary elements in the beginning and the end of Night. The tone, language, and sentence structure change just like Elie did during his time in the concentration camps.
The tone of Night in chapters one through five is mainly optimistic. The Jewish people didn’t know what was in store for them in places like Buna. Even though Elie and his family are brutally treated by the Germans and eventually separated (little did they know this was forever) they believed they would be ok. “We felt as though we were on holiday. People were saying: ‘Who knows? Perhaps we are being deported for our own good.’”(Wiesel 16).There was also a sense of disbelief. When Elie arrived at the first concentration camp, Birkenau, so much was happening he just couldn’t believe it.
The tone of chapters six through nine is significantly different than the tone of chapters one through five. The tone of this section is depressing, hopeless and focused. Wiesel is depressed because of his grave plight in the camps and from all the horrors he has seen. Starving and lacking energy, he barely has the strength to lift himself out of bed. “From time to time I would dream of a drop of soup, of an extra ration of soup” (Wiesel 82). There is no hope left in Elie at this point; he considers the idea of dying.
The language differs from the beginning to the end of Night. In the first part of the novel Wiesel uses big words because he is aware and full of energy. He is optimistic and expresses his feelings in the pahes of the book. The townspeople of Sighet were even exuberant because they thought the war was almost over. “No doubt could remain now of Germanys defeat. It was only a question of time-of months or weeks perhaps” (Wiesel 6). The language in chapters six through nine is different however; the language is morose. This is due to the fact that Elie is reflecting on all the terrible things that happened in the camps and he is putting those painful memories onto paper. The sentence structure and length of chapters one through five follows the same patterns of optimism and hope that the tone and language do. In the beginning Wiesel’s sentences are long and contain educated vocabulary. For the same reason as the language, this is because Elie is full of energy and optimism over the war’s end. Even after they were transferred to the camps Elie and his father still believed the cruelty would end and the Jews would be freed. The sentence structure and length of chapters six through nine is profoundly different than that of chapters one through five. The sentences are drastically shorter. This is because Wiesel is devoid of energy. The camps have taken a toll on him and the sentences clearly show it. The sentences are also expressing only one idea at a time. This is because Elie can only focus on one thing at a time, generally it being on food or sleep. “I’m so tired…at the end of my strength” (Wiesel 76). Wiesel’s listlessness defines how the end of the book was structured and written. The language, tone, and sentence structure evidently transform from chapter one to chapter nine. Authors’ feelings always seep into their writing. Elie Wiesel communicates his emotions into the text of Night very well. Many people change during traumatic events like the Holocaust. We must never forget this event so that others like it may never occur.