In chapter 1 of Elie Wiesel'sNight,why do the Jews of Sighet remain positive? 

Expert Answers

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

The first chapter of Elie Weisel's Night is set during WW2 in Weisel's hometown of Sighet- located in modern day Romania. This marks the beginning of Weisel's experiences in the war and the Holocaust. During the time that is described, this largely Jewish town has been greatly unaffected by the War; the only upset being when one of their familiar faces (Mochè the Beadle) is deported to Poland, but that is written off as a common practice during the war. 

When Mochè comes sometime later, half-crazed and raving about the horrors of the concentration camp that he endured in Poland, he is written off by the townspeople as attention starved and insane. At this point, Mochè's claims that anyone could ever wish for the brutal annihilation of an entire race of people seems to lack all credibility. This conviction is further backed up by the reports that support the idea that the German forces will soon be defeated by the Russian army.

It is 1944 and the war is in full-swing, and still Sighet has totally escaped all contact with German forces, and the Jewish population of this town are so removed from the horrors of the holocaust that it seems a distant tragedy- almost like a bad dream. Because of their disconnection with the war, and the hope that Russia will soon defeat Germany, the people of Sighet have no difficulty at all remaining positive and discounting any whisper of the eminent danger to the Jewish population of Europe. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial