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What is the most important aspect of Wiesel's writing style?

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shatayaf | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 21, 2010 at 8:22 AM via web

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What is the most important aspect of Wiesel's writing style?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 21, 2010 at 8:47 AM (Answer #1)

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The most important aspect of Wiesel's writing style is his use of sparse and staccato techniques. He uses short sentences or just one or a few words to express what he was feeling. By doing this, Wiesel allows readers to complete the sentences by using their own imaginations. Therefore, it's not what Wiesel says, but what he doesn't say, that allows us to empathize with him. For example, he uses sentences like "An open tomb" or "Never". It's difficult at best to try and describe the horrors of the Holocaust to those of us who didn't live through it. Wiesel doesn't try to explain it through explicit detail; he leaves it to us to take from it what we will.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted February 21, 2010 at 8:43 AM (Answer #2)

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In the book "Night" Eli Wiesel uses a fragmented and curt writing style in the first person narrative.  The style serves to help the reader to feel the presence of the speaker.  Wiesel shifts around through his stories but constantly returns to the theme of the inhumane treatment the Jews received, his disgust with the Nazi's behavior, and the absence of God's presence during his experience.

Wiesel and his father were in the concentration camp together which led to a series of its own conflicts during his encampment.  His father who he had always looked up to and sought out for help, becomes the child who seeks his son's help.  Wiesel had difficulty managing his father's needs, his own needs, and the constant barrage of abuse.  His writing reflects his struggles with coming to terms in the reverse roles and his feelings of having abandoned his father.

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

Posted February 21, 2010 at 6:46 PM (Answer #3)

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The first person narrative style of Wiesel's work helps to enhance the notion of bearing witness to the worst in human nature.  The alarming increase of "Holocaust deniers" is something which can logically be defeated with the presence of first person narratives.  Wiesel's painstakingly meticulous detail leaves little to chance, small amounts that are not clear.  His narration walks that fine line between giving the reader a first hand account, but not overwhelming the reader with a preponderance of self.  It's tough to strike because in the very nature of the narration style, self is injected.  Yet, Wiesel, through Eliezer, allows the reader to experience for themselves what is being undergone.  The occasional juxtaposition between Wiesel as Eliezer and the modern Wiesel also helps to bring light to the moral lessons being evoked from the work.  This style helps to bring the reader into the focus, allowing them to experience the horrific nature of the camps and being able to "never forget."  In this process, Wiesel's voice is acknowledged and through this, individuals learn how to speak out in validating and listening to another narrative.  This style helps to accomplish one of the primary themes of the work.

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