Why should Night be continued to be studied at school?Why should Night be continued to be studied at school?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I can understand the reluctance of some to continue teaching this novel because of the graphic descriptions of the violence and fate of the Jews like Elie Wiesel who were sent to concentration camps. However, it is important to perhaps consider the author's own words in the introduction to this testament of his experiences:

For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.

Thus it is that the Holocaust is a historical event that belongs to all of humanity. To forget it is to forget a past that "belongs to our collective memory." To forget it would be the equivalent of murdering six million Jews all over again. This would be far more offensive than the graphic descriptions of death and murder that are in the novel.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There was at least one important element that set the Holocaust apart from other acts of genocide in the past and present: how systematic the killing machine was.  So in part, it is important for us to read this novel and study the Holocaust so that we can recognize the signs and precursors of governments that might do something equally horrible if allowed to.

Secondly, roughly 95% of the world's Jews live in either Israel or the United States, with more in the US, so it is a part of our population, our identity and thus is important to millions of Americans that we remember this tragedy well.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

How else will we remember? The more removed we are from the event, the more the memory fades. We have generations of students who have skimmed over the Holocaust in their history classes, and that is not enough. Reading Night is a personal encounter rather than a generic study of a horrific event in history. When we feel something, we are not as likely to forget it; when we feel something so unsettling and disturbing, we are more likely to make sure it does not happen again. It has, of course, so we must continue to expose the truth to generations to come.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the other posts answer (which I agree with) one of the primary reasons I continue to teach this book is because on the whole, my students really enjoy it.  Whenever I find a book that students actually like reading, it is something I hold on to.  This is one story that students immediately take to, I think, because it is true.  Also, it is short, but dense.  The size of the book is not intimidating, and once they get into it, they cannot seem to put it down.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Night should be taught because 1)it is Elie Wiesel's first hand account. 2)This generation of students must not be allowed to go blindly into the future without understanding the importance of the past. 3)Atrocities like this must never be allowed to fall by the wayside. 4)Mankind owes it to the victims to keep this information prominent in order to, hopefully, ensure that it never happens again.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Honestly, I do not like teaching this book. I do not like reading this book.  However, it is important.  History needs to be studied and honored.  If we do not show our children that this has happened, it will not be real.  The book is shocking and very, very difficult to read.  It does need to be taught.

krcavnar | Student
George Santayana said "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."  Given the nature of man it is imperative that we teach the harsh tragic events that have occurred before our time.  We must all see, feel and understand the despair and depravity that those people suffered.  Sometimes just reading from a textbook is not enough to evoke the emotion needed to cause us to stop and think about the actions taken by the Nazis.  The desire to exterminate an entire race of people is a significant consequence based upon the rantings of a mad man and the society which "bought" the rationalization of the murder of thousands of Jews.  In Night, Elie Weisel gives us an accurate, first-hand account of his life in one of the most horrific places a human can imagine.  We must continue to tell this story for every generation so as not to raise a generation numb to such atrocities.