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Night by Elie Wiesel

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Night is told by Elie Wiesel and takes place in two Nazi German concentration camps: Auschwitz and Buchenwald, throughout the years of 1944-1945. The book begins by introducing "Moishe the Beadle," a character who warns the Jews of the Nazis' intentions. The residents of Sighet ignored him and Hitler's motive to annihilate the Jews. After the edicts and ghettos, they were transferred to a concentration camp. At the arrival of Auschwitz, the women and men were separated. That meant Wiesel and his father, Shlomo had to leave Elie's mother and two sisters. Working at the concentration camp, Elie endures many hardships. He witnesses countless deaths of innocent children and men. He begins to lose faith in God, and humanity itself. Although he and his father are still alive, they feel that soon, they won't be. All Jews were to move from Auschwitz to Buchenwald, a camp near the center of Germany. Shlomo dies of a beating soon after arriving at the concentration camp. Wiesel goes on apathetically without his father, and since his death, nothing mattered to him anymore. On April 10, 1945, an American tank sat outside of Buchenwald. The Jewish had finally been liberated.

The plot depends on chance; the Jews had no freedom during the Holocaust, so they had no control of what were to happen to them. Historically, the Nazis dominated their lives in the concentration camp, so couldn't control the events that made up the story. Foreshadowing plays an important role in the plot. On pages 24-25, Mrs. Schacter screams, "Fire! I see a fire!..Look! Look at this fire! This terrible fire! Have mercy on me!" On page 28, Elie says, "And as the train stopped, this time we saw flames rising from a tall chimney into a black sky...In front of us, those flames. In the air, the smell of burning flesh." Mrs. Schacter foreshadows the crematorium. Death is foreshadowed a lot in this book when the men doubt their perseverance to live. The main conflict in this story is Nazis killing off the Jews. Another conflict in the story is Elie and Shlomo trying to stick together. There were often boundaries separating the two, but at Buchenwald, they managed to stay together, until Shlomo died, of course. Juliek, the boy from Warsaw who played the violin in the Buna orchestra is a character I am fond of. On page 95, Juliek begins playing a fragment of a Beethoven concerto at the edge of his own grave. There he was, doing something he was so passionate about right before he died. The song was almost symbolism for hope, or maybe just satisfaction. I think that was a very serene moment in the book, and that is why his character engages me. The author reveals characters usually by explaining their significance. Since this book was nonfiction, the characters weren't imaginary. So I'd assume he introduced the characters chronologically. The characters' behavior is definitely reasonable, considering these were true



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