Study Guide of Night

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Why did Wiesel begin his novel with the account of Moishe the Beadle?
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Moishe plays the role as the prophet that comes back to warn the Jews. Additionally in the beginning of the book it states how he rarely spoke and constantly attempted to make himself invisible. After escaping the grasp of the Gestapo he goes around and tries to warn everyone, highlighting how traumatic the experience was.
What might have been the source of Madame Schachter's visions of the fire?The source of Madame Schacter's visions of the fire may have been the from the smoke of the distant crematories. Furthermore, it may have resulted from delusion and the stories that she heard previously from those in the neighborhood.Many prophecies in the Bible begin with the words "Hear ye this" or "Listen unto me". What similar sentence was used by both Moishe the Beadle and Madame Schachter? Why did Wiesel put identical words into the mouths of these two characters?Both Moishe the Beadle and Madame Schachter use the phrase, "Jews, listen to me". Wiesel put identical words into the mouths of these two characters because both foreshadowed the horrific faith that they were going to face.What did the treatment of Madame Schachter reveal about what was happening to the community?The treatment of Madame Schachter revealed that the community was slowly developing the mentality of "every man for themselves".Why was it significant that no one on the train had ever heard of Auschwitz?This signifies how Auschwitz was a well kept secret; also no one who arrived there generally left.What do Madame Schachter's visions foreshadow?Her vision foreshadowed the crematories or the furnaces that the Jews will eventually be faced with or thrown into.The Germans spoke to their prisoners with indifference. In what way was indifference worse than open anger or hatred?This worse than hatred because it labeled them as below the Germans in a way that made them feel as though they weren't humansWhat did Eliezer's determination to remain with his father reveal?Eliezer's determination to remain with his father reveals how important family is to him and that his love for his father is stronger than aiming to survive by himself.What did Eliezer mean when he spoke of being "condemned to live"?Eliezer means that rather than simply dying he is forced to live through such pain that is worse than death.What was the significance of the inscription "Work is liberty"?This inscription placed false hope in the prisoners through making them believe that one day they will be free. The phrase also encourages them to do labour even though the only future for them is death.Why were the prisoners tattooed?The prisoners were tattooed to be tracked and made it easier for the Germans to select them. Also through these tattoos they are dehumanized and reduced to a simple number.What happened to Stein?Stein is Eliezer's cousin who asks him if his family is okay. His family was seemingly the only thing that was keeping him going so Eliezer lies and says they are fine. In the end the fate of Stein is never revealed.Shortly after their arrival at the concentration camp, Eliezer had been separated from his mother and three sisters. Why did he write only about the fate of his mother and youngest sister?He only knows the fate of his mother and his youngest sister.Identify and explain the metaphor in these lines: "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night...."The metaphor in these lines signifies how the night which symbolizes darkness is no longer half the day but constant. With the long extended night, Eliezer expresses how he is constantly tortured and the division between night and day and work and pleasure no longer exist.Earlier in the novel, Eliezer said the flames burned away the child that he had been, leaving only a body. In this section of the novel, he said he was even less than a body. What had he become, and why?Previously he was deduced to a simple body that no longer held the same belief as he did when he was a little boy. As time goes on he describes himself as dead inside as his belief in God dissolves and begins to place his own need over his fathers.Why did Eliezer admit to being angry with his father when Idek beat him?Eliezer admits to being angry because he slowly loses his ethicality as he is subjected to constant pain. This anger sources from the madness he feels for the captors and how his father could easily prevent beating beaten.What sad lesson did Eliezer learn after attempting to hold on to his shoes and his gold crown?The sad lesson that he learns is that while trying to hold onto his pride and childhood, in the end, he still loses everything while also not receiving what was previously promised.Why did Idek have Eliezer beaten instead of having him killed?Eliezer is beaten in order to strike fear into the others and further establish their power. Additionally simply killing him will result in less work being down and giving Eliezer an easy release from the torture.How did the prisoners feel about the man who crawled to the soup cauldron during the air-raid?The prisoners felt jealous and also amazed by the man who defied the rules. Although in the end he dies and is seemingly idiotic, he was the only one who had enough confidence to act upon his urges.Why weren't the prisoners afraid to die in a bomb blast?The prisoners weren't afraid to die in the bomb blast because it would simply end their suffering and their pain that they were enduring now seemed worse than death.Why did Eliezer describe his reactions to the hangings in terms of the flavor of the soup?He describes them in terms of soup because each hanging symbolizes different effects on him. The first hanging gave him a sense of happiness that he had the ability to eat soup. The other hanging symbolized children's innocence, and the boy being hung showed a loss of innocence.What did Eliezer mean when he said, "The whole year was Yom Kippur"?He means that everyone is constantly fasting because they never eat normal portionsHow did the head of Eliezer's block treat the men under his command, and why?The head of the block was kind and free with advice meant to help the prisoners stay alive. We can infer that he treats them kindly because, he too, is a Pole. We learn later that he is removed from his position for being too lenient with the prisoners.The head of the block told the men to run "as if the devil were after you". What is ironic about this advice?Those who they ran away from, the Nazis and death, were like the devil.What did Eliezer mean when he spoke of the "crucible of death"?He means that he is constantly surrounded by death as long as he remains the concentration campWas Akiba Drumer a victim of the selection or something else? Explain your answer.I believe that Akibe Drumer actually purposely failed the selection because of his gradual loss in the belief of God. He constantly believed that this was a test the jews were faced with but in the end it was getting worse (which is seen when they forget to pray for him)What did the knife and spoon symbolize to Eliezer?The knife and spoon symbolize the life of his father.Eliezer's hospital ward neighbor claims that he has "more faith in Hitler than in anyone else [because] he's the only one who's kept his promises, all his promises, to the Jewish people" (Wiesel 81). What is ironic about this statement?It is ironic how Hitler does commit to his plans but the use of the "promises" gives his actions a positive connotation even though he wants the death of the Jews. Additionally, it is ironic how Hilter does not fully complete his goal to eradicate all Jews.Why was the silence in the shed worse than the sound of crying, moaning, or praying?The silence is worse because they no longer feel emotion as a result of the constant pain that is inflicted upon them dailyHow was it possible for Juliek to have retained his violin in the camp?His violin provides entertainment to the Germans and his captors.Why was Eliezer touched by the "strange overwhelming little corpse" of the violin, when hundreds of human corpses left him unmoved?He is touched by the violin because it symbolized all that Juliek was and as he dies he plays it, putting his every last being into the song. Additionally the violin provided joy to the prisoners that no one else could provide.What was the significance of the prisoners' animal-like attack on the scraps of bread?It demonstrated their instinct to choose to survive over the needs of others. Moreover their savage actions show how damaged they are and their inability to think rationally.What point was Wiesel making in the story about the woman who threw coins to young divers?The purpose was to prove how the women didn't actually sympathize for the boys but rather wanted to see how they were to react. In other words these were not charitable acts.What did the broken violin symbolize?The broken violin symbolizes the death of Juliek and the loss of the little enjoyment that Eliezer had.What did the air raid sirens reveal about the status of the war?It revealed that the war is almost over and Eliezer was about to be rescued from the camp.What effect did the showers have on the prisoners?There are so many people pushing into the showers that people are run over or pushed out of the way. There is a frenzy to get to the hot showers and the weakest, like Elie's father, are left in the snow.What role reversal took solace during the final illness of Eliezer's father?Rather than Eliezer's father taking care of him, Elie now was the one who was dependent on. Eliezer's relationship with his father is best understood in the context of the Jewish tradition that shapes their respective lives. As a community leader and concerned father prior to the Holocaust, Eliezer's father maintains this tradition. During his dying days and after his death, however, Eliezer becomes the one who shoulders this responsibility.What did Eliezer's wish to "burn up the whole world" reveal?This reveals how only vengeance and anger remain in him.Why did Eliezer have conflicted feelings about his father's illness?He is faced with the dilemma in which he could continue to help his father and appeal to his own moral values or he could do whatever it takes to survive, leaving his father to die.Why did the resistance movement wait so long to act?Those who were captured were so dehumanized that they couldn't find the desire to fight to be free and believe there was no way to stop this from happening. It isn't until the end where they finally have hope.Describe Eliezer's reaction to seeing his image for the first time since being incarcerated.Eliezer's reaction is heart-wrenching and poignant. When he sees himself, the boy who looks back at him is unrecognizable.