Describe your reaction to the end of "Night". Was it satisfying? If not, what else would you have preferred?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wiesel's work ends on a realistic note.  I suppose in reading any work that represents a "coming of age" idea, one hopes for some notion of validation or optimism.  Yet, the subject matter of the Holocaust, and in a larger sense, the issue of human cruelty, the realistic ending makes a great deal of sense.  The fact that Eliezer does not have a sense of closure in bidding farewell to his sister, mother, and in the end, his father is representative of so much within the Holocaust.  The rupturing of bonds, the displacement of human connection, the forgoing of connections are all realistic and terrifying aspects of the Holocaust. All of them are captured quite well in the work.  The ending was satisfying for me because it attempted to bring some sense of closure to the moment in time that did not trivialize it, and brought the appropriate sense of gravity to the situation.  When he is staring back at the mirror and sees a corpse, it speaks volumes about the haunting nature of survival in a time when mere survival constituted victory.