Active Reading Night Chapters 6 Through 9
In Night, what are 6 events that are examples of hopelessness and death and what are 6 examples of hope and life?
In Chapters 6 - 9.
Well, with a story like this one there are plenty of examples of hopelessness, and I am certainly not going to give you an example of all six for both, as I really think you should be reading this excellent, life-changing narrative for yourself. I will, however, point you towards one event that encapsulates both the hope but also the despair of these last few chapters. This is the violin of Juliek.
Let us remember that Elie and the other prisoners are on the withdrawal with their German captors. They are all in a barrack and there are so many prisoners that they are struggling to sleep, as literally there was danger of suffocation and crushing from so many bodies. In the midst of this chaos and suffering and sadness, like a note of hope, Juliek begins playing his violin, in what turns out to be his last concert.
He was playing a fragment of a Beethoven concerto. Never before had I heard such a beautiful sound. In such silence....
...The darkness enveloped us. All I could hear was the violin, and it was as if Juliek's soul had become his bow. He was playing his life. His whole being was gliding over the strings. His unfulfilled hopes. His charred past, his extinguished future. He played that which he would never play again.
Juliek's impromptu concert therefore sums up the capacity of man to survive and thrive in the most hideous of situations and to find beauty in the most ugly of surroundings. In spite of all that has happened to him, Juliek has not had his ability to create beauty extinguished. This is something that gives hope, and as the author says, it was an unforgettable performance:
How could I forget this concert given before an audience of the dead and the dying?
Of course, this great symbol of hope is short lived, as the next day Elie sees Juliek "hunched over, dead" with his trampled violin next to him, which is described as "an eerily poignant little corpse." It is clear that Juliek literally played his life out, and the "death" of the violin represents the death of his talent and his potential. A bleak moment following the uplifting music of the night before.
Hope this example helps you find other such contrasts. And do read the book - it is life-changing.
The warnings and foreshadowing before the Jews of Sighet reach Auschwitz demonstrates the hopelessness and death that they will encounter. After witnessing the cold blood murder of Jews including young children, Moshe the Beadle manages to get back to Sighet and narrates his ordeal. However, the people do not take him seriously. The situation is hopeless, and Moshe has a hint of what is about to happen.
Madame Schachter’s hysterical screams as the Jews are being transported to the concentration camp foreshadows the coming events. At Auschwitz, the Jews come face to face with the horrors of the camps, and they are made to witness the burning of babies in the crematories. Fear and death stop them from reacting to the atrocities.
Although most of the events demonstrate the hopeless nature of their situation, there are situations that also demonstrate hope and life. The bombing of Buna rejuvenates the prisoners’ confidence in life. The Jews are happy that progress is being made against the German forces.