Identify some events in Night that Elie Wiesel presents without comment or interpretation.

2 Answers | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

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

Posted on

I would say that the liberation of the Buchenwald camp is depicted without comment or interpretation.  It is a testament to Wiesel's great style and artistic skill that he would defy convention.  One would think that the Allied liberation of the camp would be a moment where reflection and thought would be present.  Yet, Wiesel does not embellish this moment.  In fact, he undercuts it with Eliezer's illness resulting after the liberation.  In doing so, Wiesel does not seek to take "the easy way out" of the moral implications of the Holocaust.  One of the primary messages from the work is the idea that the Holocaust was an event where blame and moral responsibility can be parceled out to many people.  The individuals who discarded Moshe the Beadle's warnings or Madame Schachter's visions possessed the same dehumanization practices that Dr. Mengele or Idek held.  In this light, Wiesel seeks to create a complex portrait of moral psychology within the Holocaust.  In refusing to comment in an arbitrary and expected manner, Wiesel also brings out the portrait of indifference that the world possessed towards the Holocaust.  The hope of liberation and rescue was blighted by the intense delay that Eliezer had to endure.  In refusing to comment and presenting the moment of liberation as a moment in time, in the continuum of Eliezer's narrative, Wiesel has been able to provide the context in which the questions behind the Holocaust are continued to be asked, almost bringing the reader full cricle from Moshe's claim that the strength to ask the questions to God is more important than the answers.  In refusing to comment, Wiesel continues the questions being asked.

hbeane's profile pic

hbeane | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The first event that comes to mind is the mention of babies being thrown into the air and officers shooting at them as if they were targets.  This comes at the beginning of the novel when Moshe the Beadle is describing what has happened to him when he was first deported.  The babies are never again mentioned, and the way that Wiesel mentions this situation within a description of other things some of the emphasis is removed from it.  Another instance where one can see mention of a situation without elaboration is the brief flash-forward that we see midnovel that describes Wiesel years later running into the Jewish girl on a subway.  There is no elaboration on its significance at that moment in the novel, no inference can be made as to why that was so important to mention in the middle of a chapter, but it acts almost as a break from the torture that the main character had to experience.

We’ve answered 317,396 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question