Night by Elie Wiesel is a tragic story of a Jewish teenager that won’t let any reader stay indifferent. The novel is based on real-life events experienced by the author. Thus, Elie Wiesel’s Night is autobiographical, yet how much of the story is fiction remains unclear. It’s known as a semi-fictional memoir, while the author called it his deposition.
So, what are the book’s plot, main idea, themes, symbols, and characters? Explore our Night study guide and get a detailed analysis.
Night Key Facts
|Genre||Autobiography/ semi-fictional memoir/ novel/ personal narrative.|
|Date of Publishing||1956|
|Setting (Time)||World War II (1941-1945)|
|Setting (Place)||Transylvanian town of Sighet, concentration camps (Birkenau, Auschwitz, Buna, Buchenwald).|
Night is an autobiographical memoir by a Romanian-born American writer Elie Wiesel. The book tells the horrifying story of a Jewish teenager who goes through the dreadful torture of the Holocaust. There you’ll see its summary and analysis.
The Night book’s characters impress the readers with their multifaceted natures and dramatic fates. Through their sufferings in concentration camps, Elie Wiesel demonstrates horrifying events the Jews faced during the Holocaust.
Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night explores many critical issues that occurred during World War II. Night themes play a crucial role for the readers since they help to comprehend the book’s idea. Willing to investigate themes in Night? Read the following article.
Symbolism in Night plays a crucial role. It helps the reader reveal the author’s hidden ideas and dive deep into the book’s theme. Elie Wiesel discovers only two symbols in Night – the fire and the night itself.
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Historical Context of Night
The book Night tells a tragic story about the extermination of the Jewish people. The scenes described by the author reach inhuman violence. Therefore, the readers might wrongly assume that Elie Wiesel introduces many elements of fiction. Yet, the book is based on actual events and depicts the Jews’ anguish during the Holocaust. The author implements a wide variety of literary devices in Night, so a raw autobiography turns into a unique literature piece.
To have a clear understanding of the context of Night, let’s go back in history and explore that period. In 1933, Adolf Hitler became a leader of the German National Socialist party. He had very radical views regarding the superiorities of nations, mistakenly assuming that Nordic peoples should take the upper hand in the world. Therefore, Hitler aimed to dehumanize Jews and subject them to violence.
Soon after Hitler came to governance, WWII started its rapid progress. Hitler developed a plan, “Final Solution,” with the focus on the mass extermination of Europe’s Jews. This Holocaust became known as the greatest act of genocide of all times. Around 6 million Jewish representatives have been tortured and murdered by Nazis.
The Jews were sent to concentration camps, where the majority of the plot takes place. The horrific conditions where the prisoners were held are clearly portrayed in Night. The book describes the scenes of severe inhumanity, execution, and violence. Applying various literary tools, Night’s author precisely conveys the dispiriting atmosphere and Jews’ frustration.
Eliezer, the main character of the book, became a Holocaust survivor. Unfortunately, he was in the minority. The majority of his fellow prisoners died because of the Nazis’ inhumanity. The events described in Night became a worldwide tragedy that left a sorrowful mark in history.