Discuss Wiesel's use of foreshadowing in Chapter 2 of Night regarding Madame Schachter?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When the reader sees Madame Schachter and her reactions inside the train car, it ends up revealing much of what is to come.  The moment with Madame Schachter ends up holding much in way of significance and foretelling what Eliezer himself is going to endure.  The first level of foreshadowing is that she is insistent to all around her that where the Jewish people from Sighet are going is not good.  She is rather persistent in this assertion.  While everyone around her is saying that their condition is not as bad as one thinks, Madame Schachter undercuts this rationalization with her assertion that it will actually be worse.  In this instance, she is right for no one in that car really had any idea as to what is going to be endured at the hands of the Nazis.  Additionally, when the other Jewish people attempt to silence her, it is foreshadowing the level of cruelty that Eliezer is going to witness in his different times at different camps from that moment onwards.  It is also indicative of how the dehumanization that the Nazis perpetrated upon their victims is going to be replicated when the victims dehumanize one another as their only means of survival.  Eliezer's witnessing of Madame Schachter is so profound because he experiences the same afterwards in his own ways.