What are some examples of foreshadowing from the book Night by Elie Wiesel?

An example of foreshadowing in Night by Elie Wiesel comes when Moishe the Beadle tells the people of Sighet about the atrocities that he witnessed being carried out by the Nazis against Jews in Galicia, and from which he managed to escape. This foreshadows the dire fate that awaits the Jews of Sighet.

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There are many unsettling examples of foreshadowing in Elie Weisel’s autobiographical account of his experiences in the Nazi concentration camps. One example of foreshadowing appears before Eliezer, his family, and the other Jews with them arrive at the concentration camp. While still on the train, a woman screams, “Look at the fire! Look at the flames! Flames everywhere.” The fire should prepare the reader the fate that awaits Eliezer, his family, and European Jews in general.

The flames literally represent the burning of Jewish corpses. They also, in a figurative sense, point out that Jews will be in a constant state of peril from here on out. As long as they are in the Nazi camps, they will not be safe from the flames or the possibility of abuse and death.

Another example of foreshadowing to consider connects to the sign that the Nazis placed on the iron gate outside Auschwitz. The sign read ARBEIT MACHT FREI, or in English, work makes you free.

The deception of this sign prepares the reader for the subterfuge and trickery that Eliezer will have to face from the Nazis and the Jews. Of course, work did not make the Jews or any of the other concentration camp prisoners free. It was a delusion intentionally devised by the Nazis. Some Jews, meanwhile, will purposefully detach themselves from reality to survive or provide comfort. When Eliezer’s father speculates that Eliezer’s mom and sister are alive, Eliezer points out that this is what his dad wanted Eliezer to believe; it’s not the truth.

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As a foreign Jew, Moishe the Beadle was deported by the Hungarian authorities from Sighet. Along with other Jews, he was taken to the Polish border, where the deportees were handed over to the Gestapo. There, the Jews were ordered off the train and told to dig their own graves in the forest. Once this was done, they were systematically murdered by the Nazis.

Miraculously, Moishe was able to escape and return to Sighet. Once he reaches town, he tells everyone who will listen about what happened to him. Unfortunately, no one is prepared to believe a word he says. The townsfolk regard Moishe as a lunatic and so feel able to ignore him. The Jews of Sighet are in denial and don't want to believe that what Moishe is saying is true because they cannot contemplate that something so horrifying could happen to them.

Sadly, that's exactly what does happen. Moishe's eyewitness account of the Nazi mass-murder of Jews foreshadows the horrors that will soon be inflicted on the Jews of Sighet. Before long, they will be rounded up and sent to Auschwitz, a concentration camp whose very name is synonymous with death, murder, and human suffering on a massive scale.

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Foreshadowing is a literary device that hints or informs the reader about events that will occur in the future.

In Night, foreshadowing has been deliberately used throughout the book to accentuate key events that shape the story.

“I have a bad feeling,” said my mother. “This afternoon I saw new faces in the ghetto. Two German officers, I believe they were Gestapo.”

In this instance, Eliezer’s mother noticed something odd. She had not encountered any German Gestapo officers in the ghetto, and this event led her to presume that all was not well. Later that night terrible news arrived that the Jews would be transported out of Sighet. The turn of events definitely confirmed her fears.

“The yellow star? So what? It’s not lethal…” (Poor Father! Of what then did you die?)

This was another clear use of foreshadowing by the author. The yellow star was used to mark and single out the Jews. It was for this reason (being Jew) that they were subjected to the atrocities. Eliezer’s father’s reasoning that the yellow star was not lethal was far from the truth because it was the motive behind the symbol that led to his death, which occurred later in the camps. In effect, the yellow star was actually a mark of death.

“Jews, listen to me! That’s all I ask of you. No money. No pity. Just listen to me!”

Moishe the Beadle experienced firsthand the atrocities committed by the German Nazis. He witnessed terrible things, and when he escaped, he tried to warn the Jews of Sighet about the looming danger and what was to come if they did not heed his warning.

“Fire! I see a fire! I see a fire!”

This statement by Mrs. Schachter was to serve as a warning of what was about to happen. The rest of the Jews on the transports did not take her seriously, instead, they became violent towards her. Her premonition finally came to pass, when on arrival some of the prisoners who were deemed unsuitable were thrown in the crematoria.

“Jews, look! Look at the fire! Look at the flames!” And as the train stopped, this time we saw flames rising from a tall chimney into a black sky.

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