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Night

Night

by Elie Wiesel

Night Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Family

At the beginning of the book, with nothing else to cling to, prisoners in the concentration camps hold on to their family members. The most important thing is to stay with your family members as lo...

Religion

Eliezer presents the Jewish faith in a moment of extreme darkness. When Eliezer witnesses the horror of the Auschwitz concentration camps – especially the gruesome murder of babies and young...

Lies and Deceit

Deception – especially self-deception – is a powerful force in Night. Self-deception has two primary results: boosting morale and hope, but also deluding the Jews and leaving them vulne...

Identity

In the beginning of Night, Eliezer’s identity is that of an innocent child, a student of Talmud, and a devout Jew. But the concentration camps experience strips him (and his fellow Jewish pri...

Mortality

The question of who lives and who dies in Night stems from a system of unnatural rules. SS officers, such as Dr. Mengele, play God and decide who will live or who will go to the crematorium. "Selec...

Freedom and Confinement

Throughout the book, the confinement of the Jewish people increases in a step-by-step process, which strips away their identity, humanity, and dignity. First, the Jews of Sighet are confined to the...

Violence

Violence permeates all of Night in many forms. Violence is used to dominate others, as with the Germans using violence to force the Jews into concentration camps. Similarly, public displays of viol...

Race

Jews are the primary Nazi target for hate crimes and extermination, simply because of their race. As a reader, you can’t help but get a sense for the arbitrariness of race; the distinctions b...

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