In telling his personal story, Wiesel gives a first-hand view of the physical, emotional, and psychological terrors experienced by those who lived and died in the concentration camps. Night defines Wiesel as a devout Jew who went through a period of complete alienation from God as a reaction to the unexplainable cruelty he witnessed. Night defines Wiesel as a survivor in spite of the odds against him, in contrast with the deaths of the millions who may have been stronger or wiser or were weak or old but still were still children of God.
As his reputation and the story he told in Night spread and grew, the book came to define Wiesel "as a vocal champion of human rights." In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, he explained how "I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation."