What do the snowflakes in the blizzard symbolize in Night?The snowflakes from the blizzard, from when the prisoners are marching

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proderic eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Interesting question. As you may know, Night, Elie Wiesel's powerful novel and first-hand account of his experiences in Auschwitz, is a work of history, not fiction. That can sometimes complicate the analysis of this work as a work of literature. However, like any work of fiction, Night is replete with symbols, motifs, and themes that subject the novel to many fascinating types of analysis. One of these "symbols" is the the snowflakes in the blizzard. To find the answer to this question, consider what occurred at this concentration camp. Millions of Jews (some estimate over six million) were murdered at Auschwitz. All of these Jews were human beings. Like snowflakes, initially, all human beings are similar in appearance. We all look the same from a distance, as do snowflakes. However, when we get closer, and truly examine each other as individuals, we notice that we are different shapes and sizes, we have different hair color, eye color, different clothes, differently shaped bodies. In other words, we are all unique. Similarly, snowflakes from a distance all appear identical, but when examined up close, each snowflake is unique; no two snowflakes are identical. By indicating these snowflakes in the blizzard, perhaps Wiesel was arguing that the Jews who were slaughtered at Auschwitz weren't just millions of Jewish people, but that, like snowflakes, each person who went into those gas chambers and died was an individual...a unique mother, father, child, son, daughter. I hope that this analysis helps you.