Discuss the irony of the title of the book Dawn.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The idea of "dawn" does indicate something new to be born.  Perhaps, Wiesel is suggesting that for survivors of events such as the Holocaust, "dawn" could represent a new path being taken to ensure, at least in the victim's mind, that the events of genocide are not to be repeated.  Elisha escapes from the Holocaust and joins a militant organization that seeks to remove the British from the Holy Land.  Elisha's crucible of having to murder a British official is something that represents the "dawn" within him.  As opposed to the idea that the victim of cruelty becomes a morally upstanding and righteous person, Wiesel might be suggesting that the "dawn" within the victim of political and personal cruelty is an embrace of violence and an intensity of focus that might allow them to explore new possibilities such as anti- establishment organizations that embrace terror for a political purpose.  In a setting of terrorism that grips the modern setting, this brings a new idea to "dawn."  The actions that nations and governments undertake against people could result in a "dawn" of new political reality where terror is a viable option for many who endure suffering and political targeting.  In this, the idea of "dawn" is something new.

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