In Elie Wiesel's Night, why are animal comparisons used?

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A number of animal comparisons are made in the novel Night by Elie Wiesel in order to illustrate the the cruelty and inhumanity that the Jews endured during the Holocaust.

The Jews in the Holocaust were dehumanized and treated as disposable during the entirety of their internment. Comparing the group to cattle is common—not only to Wiesel but to most Holocaust authors—because that is essentially the way they were treated. They were shepherded from one overcrowded facility to another, where they were worked, beaten, and then dispatched.

One of the most dehumanizing aspects of the Holocaust was the disposable nature of the individual; if a person died while working, they were thrown into an open grave and replaced with another worker. This is the same way that beasts of burden are treated on a farm.

His use of animal comparisons shows that their humanity was stripped from them and they were treated without consideration for their inherent human value or dignity.

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In Night, Elie Wiesel uses animal imagery and comparisons to animals to emphasize how the Jews are being dehumanized by the Nazis. The Nazis often compared the Jews to rats and other vermin in order to make them seem subhuman in the eyes of the non-Jewish public. Wiesel shows how their treatment as animals affected the prisoners in the camps, forcing many of them into animalistic struggles for survival.

In the camps, the prisoners are treated as beasts of burden at best, and even then, their lives are held much more cheaply, since the intention of the Nazi regime is to exterminate everyone with Jewish blood.

For example, Wiesel describes his father "crawling on all fours" when he is beaten by a camp guard. This makes Wiesel's father seem like an animal and strips him of his human dignity. Other characters are compared to sheep and worms, comparisons which evoke a sense of helplessness, insignificance, and vulnerability.

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