What is an example of metaphor in section seven of Night?  

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In section seven, Elie and his father are on their way from Gleiwitz to Buchenwald. Death is all around him as the forced march from Buna to Gleiwitz has taken a heavy toll on the Jews. They have been crowded onto train cars in the bitter cold of winter. In the first paragraph of the section Elie uses a metaphor comparing his brain to a rushing whirlpool where all of the memories of his past life are wasting away. At this point, he is thinking of death and the apathy that surrounds it. He also uses the extended metaphor of night to describe the experience of the concentration camps:

Pressed up against the others in an effort to keep out the cold, head empty and heavy at the same time, brain a whirlpool of decaying memories. Indifference deadened the spirit. Here or elsewhere—what difference did it make? To die today, tomorrow, or later? The night was long and never ending.

In the next paragraph, Elie uses a simile to describe a pile of dead bodies. It is a scene reminiscent of those captured over and over on the films that were taken after the liberation of the camps in 1945. Bodies stacked on top of bodies. Elie fittingly compares them to tombstones:

When at last a gray glimmer of light appeared on the horizon, it revealed a tangle of human shapes, heads sunk upon shoulders, crouched, piled one of top of the other, like a field of dust-covered tombstones in the first light of dawn.

A little later in the section Elie writes about passing through the German towns and the workers coming out and throwing pieces of bread into the train cars of the starving men. The men become savages, killing their neighbor just for a crust of bread. Elie compares these men to animals:

Men threw themselves on top of each other, stamping on each other, tearing at each other, biting each other. Wild beasts of prey, with animal hatred in their eyes, an extraordinary vitality had seized them, sharpening their teeth and nails.

All the while, Elie reports that the German workmen looked on with curiosity and interest at "these skeletons of men."