Describe the social significance of Night

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

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In my mind, the primary social significance to Wiesel's work would be the demand to open the dialogue about the Holocaust.  Wiesel's work was written at a time when the true horror and pain of the Holocaust was not openly discussed.  I think that its significance was warranted then and now.  With the rise of "Holocaust deniers," Wiesel's work is needed.  It is essential to bring forth what horror existed in the Holocaust and why the process of silencing voices cannot be tolderated in any form.  Additionally, the work is a study of cruelty and the levels to which individuals can abuse and hurt one another both intentionally and unintentionally.  It is here where the work is very powerful and bears a high level of social significance.  In Wiesel's work, the need to talk and to discuss events of social and personal cruelty is something that is tantamount to one's survival. This was a radical perspective at the time in which it was written.  It is still one that is relevant today as atrocities are being committed and the lacking of a dialogue enables such cruelty to continue.  Wiesel's work reminds us that when we share and discuss, we go a bit farther in making sure that the "better angels" of our nature are embraced.  It is here where the social significance of the work is evident.

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