Consider the idea(s) the author develops regarding circumstances that compel individuals to respond. Discuss the idea(s) developed in Night about circumstances which compel an individual to respond.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The circumstances that Elie Wiesel presents in Night are some of the most challenging to which any individual might ever have to respond. Wiesel reveals to the reader the doubts that endlessly tortured him while he was imprisoned in Auschwitz. Not only did he have no idea if he would survive, the only certainty around him was that some of his fellow prisoners would die. The main questions he had were how many people would die, and when.

The complex interplay between shared experience and collective support, on the one hand, and selfishness, on the other hand, emerges strongly through Wiesel’s narrative. The boy learns to understand that he must actively participate in his own commodification. He has to be able to conceive of himself as a set of parts, each of which has distinct value; this fragmentation applies to his intellect and skills as well as his body. A good example is his understanding that a gold tooth represents a bargaining chip, but the question of relative valuation also...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 962 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 11, 2020
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 11, 2020