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What narrative techniques does Wiesel use at the bottom of page 36 of Night?

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nickr | Salutatorian

Posted November 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM via web

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What narrative techniques does Wiesel use at the bottom of page 36 of Night?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:32 AM (Answer #1)

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This section of this powerful novel describes the way that the narrator and the other Jews with him were moved through the various stages of joining the concentration camp, going from one barrack to another barrack where they had to wash in disinfectant, then on to a shower, and on to another barrack with was a storeroom. The narrative strategy used in this description is the use of short, incomplete sentences to convey the speed of this process. Note how this experience is described:

Disinfection. Everybody soaked in it. Then came a hot shower. All very fast. As we left the showers, we were chased outside. And ordered to run some more. Another barrack: the storeroom.

The sentences are very brief and not necessary complete. They perfectly convey the speed of this experience that the speaker is narrating to us, and the sense of bewilderment and confusion as he and the other Jews are moved from one place to another. Here the staccato-like sentences enact the painful jolts and speed experienced by the narrator as he is being moved so fast he is unable to stop and take stock of what is happening to him. Disorientation and confusion rules.

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