Identify significant examples of imagery that embody the loss of faith in Night.

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

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Wiesel's narrative includes specific examples of images which outline the loss of faith in the camps.  Consider the ending to Chapter 5, in which the figure of the boy choking for thirty minutes after being hung looms large.  When one of the prisoners asks where God is in this, Eliezer comments that he is being hung "on these gallows."  This is a powerful image because there is no metric which can accurately explain the death of a child in such a brutal manner.  Another such image would be Eliezer's composition of thoughts upon entering Auschwitz.  The idea of a God who was "murdered" is a compelling image in which one is able to clearly see how the impact of the death of God is a reality in Auschwitz.  Akiba Drumer's incessant faith in God, a conviction that was only to be withered away through what was seen in Auschwitz is another image of how the loss of religious faith was a reality in the camps.  This is symbolic of how what was experienced in the death camps took away the resolve of the most devout and most religious.  When he asks others to recite the Khaddish for him when he dies, and when they forget to do so, it is an image that is poignant that all spiritual notions of the good seemed to have entered the gas chamber in Auschwitz.


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