From what point of view is Night by Elie Wiesel written?

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Night is written from the first-person perspective of Elie Wiesel, who recalls his experiences during World War II as he endures concentration camps and other atrocities. In first-person point of view, the narrator is a character directly involved in the story, and so the pronoun “I” is used. Note that use of pronouns within dialogue does not indicate the point of view of a story. These pronouns must be used outside of dialogue. We know that Night is from a first-person point of view because Elie speaks using “I” all throughout the story (both in and outside of dialogue).

The first-person perspective is an effective point of view for this book. It makes Elie’s haunting experiences in concentration camps more potent. It is visceral and personal to tell a story directly, as opposed to telling a story about another person (as in third-person narration). Since Elie himself is telling the story, we only know what he knows. This makes the act of reading the book a more personal experience; readers are more closely able to imagine the various emotions Elie relates. Moreover, first-person narration enables direct access to the narrator’s thoughts and feelings. In a book about something as sensitive as the Holocaust, this is an important aspect. Knowing the fear, pain, and multitude of other emotions that Elie experiences gives a stronger sense of the injustices he recalls.

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Night by Elie Wiesel is written in the first person point of view. You can tell because Elie is the narrator and uses the pronoun "I" to tell his story. Most novels are written in either first person or third person. In third person, you will not see the pronoun "I" unless it is in dialogue. Instead you will see names of people. For example, if Night were written in third person instead of first, the third paragraph on the first page would look something like this:

"Eliezar got to know him toward the end of 1941. Elie was twelve. He believed profoundly. During the day he studied the Talmud, and at night Elie ran to the synagogue to weep over the destruction of the Temple." (Wiesel 1)

When I change from first person to third person point of view, I change "I" to "Eliezar," "Elie," and "he." Though highly unusual in literature, once in awhile, you may also read something in second person. Second person is speaking directly to the reader, and the pronoun used to indicate that is "you."

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