What are the comparisons between Night and Primo Levi's book Survival in Auschwitz?

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shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wiesel’s Night and Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz recount similar experiences: a foreign Jew trying to survive in a brutal Nazi concentration camp. Both have been called “poetic” for their use of language to connect to the reader in a visceral way rather than simply an informative way. Both books avoid sweeping generalizations about the people that imprisoned them.

The similarities are obvious, as they both recount similar experiences. One also needs to look at the differences. Levi was a young adult in his early 20’s when he was in the camp, while Wiesel was 14-15. This is a significant difference, Wiesel’s experience is deeply influenced by the fact that he was still in the process of maturing during the time period that the book covers. This is why Wiesel stresses his concern for his father so often in Night. Night is also focused primarily on Wiesel’s religious beliefs, and how the experience shatters his faith.

Night has been called the more literarily artistic work, while Survival in Auschwitz has been praised for its ability to incorporate a witty tone at times. Survival in Auschwitz is considered to be the more optimistic work.