At the end of Night, Wiesel describes himself in the mirror as "a corpse" gazing back at himself. In what ways did Wiesel die during the Holocaust? Does the memoir give you any hope that Wiesel...

 At the end of Night, Wiesel describes himself in the mirror as "a corpse" gazing back at himself. In what ways did Wiesel die during the Holocaust? Does the memoir give you any hope that Wiesel ever started living again?

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

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The ending to the narrative represents some of the bleakest imagery in the Holocaust.  Eliezer's death in the Holocaust took on many forms. Upon his first night in Auschwitz- Birkenau, Eliezer experienced this: "Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes."  For Eliezer, he experiences death of his religious faith. From one who wanted to commit his life to studying and praying to God, Eliezer rejects religion as a result of the Holocaust.  His drive for survival that dehumanized him resulted in the death of his community and his identity as someone who was Jewish. Finally, Eliezer experiences the death of family, as everyone around him is murdered in the camps.  The death of emotions represents yet another way in which Eliezer died during the Holocaust.

In terms of the hope in the work, the hope comes from the lessons of the work.  Given the different introductions that Wiesel has written for his memoir over the years, I think that the hope comes from his experience as a child being relayed to a new generation that understands the horrors of the Holocaust.  Wiesel has become such a strong advocate for remembering the terror of the Holocaust that the hope in the memoir comes from people reading it, studying it, and understand the need to prevent another genocide at all costs. While the ending of the work itself might not provide hope, it is in the lesson of the work where hope lies.  In this, Wiesel does start to live again in the hope that others do not experience the same forms of death that he did.

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