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What was Elie Wiesel's purpose in writing Night? 

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shahafzbc | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM via web

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What was Elie Wiesel's purpose in writing Night

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 7, 2013 at 2:00 PM (Answer #1)

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Elie Wiesel had one main purpose for writing of his experiences during the Holocaust (in his novel Night). According to his introduction, Elie knew that the Holocaust and the period of time which surrounded it "would be judged one day." Given that he recognized this, Elie believed that someone would need to "bear witness." For him, the someone was him. 

Elie did have a fear though: that the testimony he would provide would not be received well. He knew that the only people who would truly understand were those who had lived through and experienced life in the concentration camps. Even though Elie realized that they, readers, would not "know" the reality behind the Holocaust, he hoped that they would "understand." 

This understanding Elie desired was problematic given his language. He worried that he would not be able to help those who did not experience it because the words he chose may be wrong. Regardless of this barrier, Elie stood strong. He refused to stay silent (like the world when it happened--given the first title of his novella: And the World Remained Silent). 

Therefore, his purpose in writing Night was to not stay silent and bear witness to the Holocaust. 

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