What are two reasons that Elie Wiesel titled his novel Night?

Two reasons for Elie Wiesel titling his memoir Night include the unending physical and spiritual darkness into which he has been plunged and the image of children and babies being burned in a fire, with the flames silhouetted against the night sky.

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Elie Wiesel's Night gets its name primarily from the dark subject matter with which it deals. The book tells the story of a young man's experiences of the Holocaust, the mass murder of over six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. This was undoubtedly one of...

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Elie Wiesel's Night gets its name primarily from the dark subject matter with which it deals. The book tells the story of a young man's experiences of the Holocaust, the mass murder of over six million Jews by the Nazis during World War II. This was undoubtedly one of the darkest chapters in history, so it's entirely appropriate for a book that deals with this era to be called Night.

Of its very nature, night implies a lack of light, and there's certainly no light to speak of in Elie's book, no hope of being delivered from the unspeakable horrors of Auschwitz. It is this lack of hope that destroys Elie's faith and that of many other inmates.

Time has no real meaning in this notorious place of death and destruction. Whatever time it is, day or night, unimaginable suffering is never very far away. In that sense, it is always night, always a place of spiritual and moral darkness in which evil reigns supreme.

Even when the night is lit up, it is only by acts of evil, such as the burning of children's bodies in a ditch. The corpses may burn brightly, but the metaphorical darkness remains. Indeed, if anything, it intensifies.

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I would argue that a first reason for the choice of the name Night for Elie Wiesel’s harrowing memoir about life in the concentration camps of Europe relates to the fact that Wiesel and his father lived in a world of physical, emotional, and spiritual darkness. God is widely described as being a source of light, and in this endless darkness, Wiesel’s outlook on life and religion changes irrevocably:

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in the camp, that turned my life into one long night, seven times sealed.

As this quote explains, Wiesel feels that his life has been transformed from days and nights into one everlasting night. In Jewish tradition, the number seven creates a symbol of completion, and here Wiesel is telling us that he feels as though the night into which he has been plunged will never end.

A second reason for the title of Night relates to a specific event in the novel, in which Wiesel sees the flames of a blazing inferno contrasted against the darkness of the night. Small children and babies were being thrown into this fire, and Wiesel remarks that it is little wonder that since this experience, sleep tends to evade him. He even pinches himself to make sure that he is awake, wishing to find that he was asleep and that this entire “night” had been nothing more than a nightmare.

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Elie Wiesel's Night (published in French as La Nuit) is titled as such because the night is the symbol of the physical and spiritual darkness Wiesel experienced and depicts in the book. Over the course of the book, we witness Elie's idealism being darkened by what he witnesses while living in a concentration camp; eventually, he even begins to feel abandoned by God.

The title also speaks to the "night" being experienced by the world while the Holocaust occurred and war raged on. This darkness swept over Europe and overshadowed humanity, empathy, and tolerance. 

The novel's title is also likely harkening to the moment in which Wiesel and his father were witnesses to a truckload of children burning in a ditch; the two watched as these bodies burned and the night sky at Birkenau was lit up by the flames. 

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Elie Wiesel's novel Night depicts his first hand experiences during his imprisonment at Auschwitz during the Holocaust. While one could justify the title of the novel in different ways, the title has been known to refer to two very specific ideas.

First, readers of the novel are very familiar with Elie's loss of faith in God. During his time at Auschwitz, Elie's faith hits an "all time low." That being said, some could support that his loss in faith placed him in darkness. Given that light did not exist until God created it, his loss of faith puts him into a place where his is not able to find God or his light. Therefore, he exists in darkness--or night.

Second, Elie cannot come to understand why the violence and brutalization in the camps exists. Given that he is not "enlightened" on these happenings, he is in the dark about why the camps even exist.

Although you only needed two reasons, one last reason needs to be mentioned. The original title of Night was And The World (Has) Remained Silent. Given that the "world" did nothing to stop the Holocaust, at first, Elie could have felt that the world turned its back on those victimized, brutalized, and killed during the Holocaust. The world essentially closed its eyes to the truth. Therefore, the world was dark--like night.

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