What is an example of the mood in chapter 4 of Night by Elie Wiesel?

Expert Answers

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

In the beginning of Chapter Four in Night by Elie Wiesel, the mood could almost be described as optimistic. Elie and his father, along with many other Jews, have just arrived at Buna, where they are told they have arrived at a "very good camp" (Wiesel 45). Elie is asked if he wants to get into a good unit, which, of course, he does as long as he can stay with his father. The feeling is that maybe things are not so bad after all.

Of course that mood shifts fairly soon. Yes, Elie is in a decent unit where the work is not that difficult, but he is also under a Kapo who is prone to terrible fits of violence, and before the chapter is over, Elie has experienced it. The mood becomes more fearful.

Then at the very end of the chapter, the mood shifts again to a combination of terror and depression. All hope that God exists leaves Elie when he is forced to watch a child hang--a child accused of helping to blow up the camp's electric station.

"Behind me, I heard the same man asking:

'Where is God now?'

And I heard a voice within me answer him:

'Where is He? Here He is--He is hanging here on the gallows...'" (Wiesel 62). 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team