In many ways, night comes to represent the evil that Elie is forced to face in his world.
While living in the ghetto, this image is used as a transition of mood. Consider the mood in this section:
A sunny spring day, people strolled seemingly carefree through the crowded streets. They exchanged cheerful greetings. Children played games, rolling hazelnuts on the sidewalks. Some schoolmates and I were in Ezra Malik's garden studying a Talmudic treatise.
The mood is light and there is a ray of hope in the interactions of the people, then that mood is cut with one very short sentence:
At this point, the mood changes and Elie's world quickly changes as well. Rumors begin to circulate; people become suspicious and fearful. Word quickly arrives to confirm their fears: they will soon be transported away from their home.
We see this image again as they are offered a place of hiding by their former maid:
My father wouldn't hear of it. He told me and my big sisters, "If you wish, go there. I...
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