Elie Wiesel's Night is the semiautobiographical story of Wiesel's Holocaust experience in his early teens. The story is filled with haunting imagery and symbols and poetic diction.
Wiesel refers frequently to the "world" in the story to emphasize the universal importance of his experience. In some ways, the novel is a plea to the world at large to take notice, and never, ever forget what happened in the Holocaust in World War II Europe.
He establishes this idea of the world very early in the story when he introduces the character of Moshe the Beadle. In so doing, he also establishes the idea of imminent danger, an idea that he will continue to develop throughout the first half of the novel.
Moshe is Elie’s spiritual guide. As he begins to instruct Elie in the mystical side of the Jewish faith, he tells Elie:
. . . the world of mysticism, [is] a world fraught with peril.
The mystical world is the world Elie wishes to explore, but just as he begins, the Germans intervene and the Holocaust destroys this wish. He is dragged into an entirely different world.
By stating that it is a world “fraught with peril,” Wiesel introduces the idea of danger. There is some kind of danger, a danger Wiesel does not explain, in mystical pursuits. Instead, the political, material, violent, and hateful world snatches Elie away from his true desire. As we will see in the rest of the story, Elie will never be the same.
The world, in this sense, is compared to full expanse of human possibility and fulfillment on the one hand, and the destructive tendencies of mankind on the other.