Explain 2 examples of tragic irony from section 1 in Night by Elie Wiesel.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my mind, the most evident example of tragic irony in the first section would reside with the reaction Moshe the Beadle receives upon returning to Sighet.  Moshe has lived through unspeakable atrocity and has only one desire upon living in terms of returning and letting others know what horror awaits and for them to escape now.  Yet, the reaction he receives is one of disbelief, derision and denial.  This is ironic because Moshe's attempts at building solidarity and community are negated by those who are in the community of Sighet.  It is particularly poignant and ironic that he sits broken not because of the Nazis but because of his own people.  Another tragic irony that comes out of this section of the narrative is something more subtle in the discussions between Eliezer and Moshe the Beadle.  From their discussions about the questions to ask God, a tragic irony develops that will be enhanced when Eliezer begins to question God himself.  Moshe teaches Eliezer that there is a fundamental importance in asking God the questions that help provide answers to identity in the world.  This is something that acquires greater meaning when Eliezer begins to ask God why he has inflicted such punishment on him throughout his ordeal, eventually resulting in a repudiation of God.  It is here where I think that another tragic irony is evident in the first section.