What does night symbolize, as a theme and idea, in Elie Wiesel's novel Night?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

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:

Night fell.

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...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 1052 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on