What are some examples of foreshadowing from the book Night by Elie Wiesel?

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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Foreshadowing is a literary device that hints or informs the reader about events that will occur in the future.

In Night, foreshadowing has been deliberately used throughout the book to accentuate key events that shape the story.

“I have a bad feeling,” said my mother. “This afternoon I saw new faces in the ghetto. Two German officers, I believe they were Gestapo.”

In this instance, Eliezer’s mother noticed something odd. She had not encountered any German Gestapo officers in the ghetto, and this event led her to presume that all was not well. Later that night terrible news arrived that the Jews would be transported out of Sighet. The turn of events definitely confirmed her fears.

“The yellow star? So what? It’s not lethal…” (Poor Father! Of what then did you die?)

This was another clear use of foreshadowing by the author. The yellow star was used to mark and single out the Jews. It was for this reason (being Jew) that they were subjected to the atrocities. Eliezer’s father’s reasoning that the yellow star was not lethal was far from the truth because it was the motive behind the symbol that led to his death, which occurred later in the camps. In effect, the yellow star was actually a mark of death.

“Jews, listen to me! That’s all I ask of you. No money. No pity. Just listen to me!”

Moishe the Beadle experienced firsthand the atrocities committed by the German Nazis. He witnessed terrible things, and when he escaped, he tried to warn the Jews of Sighet about the looming danger and what was to come if they did not heed his warning.

“Fire! I see a fire! I see a fire!”

This statement by Mrs. Schachter was to serve as a warning of what was about to happen. The rest of the Jews on the transports did not take her seriously, instead, they became violent towards her. Her premonition finally came to pass, when on arrival some of the prisoners who were deemed unsuitable were thrown in the crematoria.

“Jews, look! Look at the fire! Look at the flames!” And as the train stopped, this time we saw flames rising from a tall chimney into a black sky.