What is a good thesis statement about the symbol of silence in Night by Elie Wiesel?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Much of this is going to depend on what you wish to prove or what it is you need to prove.  On one hand, I think that it might really interesting to examine how God is silent in Wiesel's narrative.  One of Wiesel's most basic claims is that God remained silent in the face of unspeakable cruelty.  At the same time, Wiesel plays with this in how human beings treat one another.  There is a silence in how human beings interact with one another.  Moshe the Beadle comes back to speak of the difficulty that will be endured by the villagers of Sighet.  He is greeted with scorn and disregard.  Madame Schachter speaks of the fires and the flames, and she is ostracized, physically silenced by the other people on the train.  Even Eliezer remains silent while his father screams in pain and calls out for help.  It is in this where Wiesel might be making his greatest statement about silence and the human predicament.  A thesis here might be that the deeper true horror of the Holocaust is not what the Nazis did, but the behavior that they legitimized as human beings dehumanized one another with silence and apathy.

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