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Night essay: how does Wiesel use imagery? Topic: using the novel, decide the...

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scorpius | (Level 1) Honors

Posted December 21, 2010 at 1:16 PM via web

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Night essay: how does Wiesel use imagery?

Topic: using the novel, decide the significance of his use imagery? How and why does Wiesel use imagery?

What he is trying to teach or show you by using it? Why does he use so much descriptive writing in his novel? Answer this to come up with a thesis.

My thesis:. In Night by Elie Wiesel, he uses imagery to share his emotional response to the Holocaust with his readers.

What am I supposed to write for the first body paragraph (topic sentence)?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 21, 2010 at 2:49 PM (Answer #1)

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I like your thesis statement, and I think it is easily understood, and should also be easy to discuss in your essay and support by using descriptions of imagery from the novel.

Because Eli Wiesel's novel, Night, is based on his personal experiences, and because he relays the details of his story in chronological order, I would write my essay using this order as a way to structure the order of my body paragraphs. You will need to condense the story so that you don't retell the entire novel in your paper; make sure to explain using imagery when you can, but don't use too much. I assume your teacher wants to see your writing, as well as quotes from Wiesel.

Were I to be writing the first body paragraph, based upon the thesis statement above, I would start by presenting the beginnings of this story. The first thing Wiesel shares is his deep desire to grow in his faith. He describes Moshe the Beadle who quietly, secretly, becomes Eli's mentor in studying the cabbala. When Moshe the Beadle and other foreigners are herded out of Sighet, only he returns months later to describe the slaughter of those taken away. Many do not believe what he tells them, remaining in town without looking for more information. However, Eli personally recognizes that Moshe the Beadle has suffered: his joy is gone, he no longer sings, and he does not speak of the cabbala any longer. He only speaks of what he has seen and begs the other Jews to listen. Using some of Wiesel's imagery, this would be what I would address first in my essay:

When Eli Wiesel is twelve, Moshe the Beadle, a man of poverty and knowledge, begins to teach Eli about the cabbala. Wiesel describes Moshe: "Physically, he was as awkward as a clown. He made people smile, with his waiflike timidity...He used to sing, or rather, to chant." Eli relates how he grows to love this man with "dreaming eyes." However, one day Moshe and other foreign Jews are herded out of the town by the Hungarian police. Moshe is the only one who returns, describing of the murder of the other foreign Jews. "The Jews...were made to dig huge graves. And when they had finished their work, the Gestapo began theirs...they slaughtered their prisoners." Though he begs them to listen, the townspeople do not believe him. "You don't understand," he said in despair. "You can't understand...I managed to get back here...to tell you the story of my death...And see how it is, no one will listen to me." Wiesel's imagery allows the reader to see Moshe's horror, and the world, changed, through Moshe's eyes.

As you move into the second body paragraph, I would write about how Moshe's fears become reality, using quotations of particularly descriptive imagery to show how Wiesel's story moves forward, as Moshe had predicted.

At the end of your essay, I would include the information below, which I have only just realized with this reading of the novel. It naturally seems as if it should be placed at the end of the story.

By the end of the novel, Eli Wiesel becomes like Moshe the Beadle to the rest of the world. In his novel, he describes what he saw in the Holocaust, and begs for the reader to listen and believe, just as Moshe had in 1942. "You don't understand," he said in despair. "You can't understand...I managed to get back here...to tell you the story of my death."

This last part is important because at the end, Wiesel is a man who also miraculously survived, who looks into the mirror and sees a corpse.

I hope this is of some help.

 

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