Melissa Rudder's Reviews > Night

Night by Elie Wiesel
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Sep 14, 08

bookshelves: teach-it
Read in August, 2003, read count: 3

If I were assigned to create a required reading list for the world (a mission I would be against in principle) I would definitely include Elie Wiesel’s Night. I can hear statistics about the holocaust, even see pictures of the shadows of humanity that were “liberated” from concentration camps, but I could never come close to comprehending what took place in places like Auschwitz. Upon reading Wiesel, I still can’t, but I would say that I got a little closer.

Elie Wiesel’s Nightis a memoir that follows his story, the story of a fifteen year old boy, as he is dragged through Auschwitz and its adjacent work camps in the final months of World War II. Though Wiesel delves deep into the horrific memories of his enslavement, he does so while maintaining a skillful control over his language and literary devices, for instance, taking pains to present the experience of the Holocaust as the antithesis to the Exodus of the Old Testament, as what my professor dubs, the Anti-Exodus, where Jews are forced to meet the Anti-God and the Anti-humanity face to face.

The most remarkable aspect of Wiesel’s memoir is his honesty. Wiesel has the courage not only to write about a hellish experience, but to honestly examine his responses to the cruelty and dehumanization he was faced with daily. He did not hide from his reader even the thoughts and feelings that he was most ashamed of that he felt while imprisoned. His honesty and self-conscious writing makes his story all the more compelling and haunting.

If you have not read Wiesel’s Night and in anyway consider yourself to be concerned with the plight of humanity, go buy it and read it.
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