Night Questions and Answers
by Elie Wiesel

Night book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is an example of imagery in Night by Elie Wiesel?

Imagery is the use of sensory details to enhance description in literature. In Night, Elie Wiesel uses imagery to describe the horrors of the Holocaust and allows the reader to comprehend the sights, sounds, touch, and even smells. For example, Elie describes the harsh winter at the concentration camp using touch and feel imagery when he writes, "Winter had arrived. The days became short and the nights almost unbearable. From the first hours of dawn, a glacial wind lashed us like a whip" (77).

Expert Answers info

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,079 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Imagery is a literary term for descriptive language that appeals to the reader's five senses. Elie Wiesel employs imagery when he describes the harsh winter in the concentration camp. Wiesel writes,

"Winter had arrived. The days became short and the nights almost unbearable. From the first hours of dawn, a glacial wind lashed us like a whip" (77).

He goes on to say,

"The stones were so cold that touching them, we felt that our hands would remain stuck. But we got used to that too" (Wiesel 78).

Elie's use of imagery appeals to the reader's sense of touch and feel. The reader can imagine the harsh gusts of freezing winds and the burning sensation of touching extremely cold stones in the middle of winter.

Elie Wiesel again uses imagery to give the audience an understanding of the environment in the camp during his last night at Buna. Wiesel writes,

"Through the frosty windowpanes we could see flashes of red. Cannon shots broke the silence of night...There was whispering from one bunk to the other..." (83).

The reader can visualize the red flashes from the bullets and hear the loud cannon shots outside of the building. Elie Wiesel is appealing to the reader's auditory and visual senses throughout the paragraph.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

kathik eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write398 answers

starTop subjects are Literature and History

Imagery is the use of the senses to enhance description in literature, and Elie Wiesel does this very well throughout his autobiographical book, Night. In describing the horrors of the Holocaust, he brings us in through the imagery he employs. We are able to see it, hear it, feel it and sometimes even to smell it. One of the best examples comes in Chapter Four during a bomb alert. Two large pots of soup were left unguarded, and one man's hunger could not withstand the temptation:

"A man appeared, crawling like a worm in the direction of the cauldrons. 

"Hundreds of eyes followed his movements. Hundreds of men crawled with him, scraping their knees with his on the gravel. Every heart trembled, but with envy above all. This man had dared.

"He reached the first cauldron. Hearts raced;  He had succeeded. Jealousy consumed us, burned us up like straw." (Wiesel 56-57)

Nearly all of our senses are employed here. We see the man "crawling like a worm." We feel knees being scraped. We hear and feel hearts racing and trembling. Wiesel is masterful in his use of imagery. If you look at any page in his book, you will be able to find it easily!  

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial