The Absence of Light in Elie Wiesel's "Night"

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The Absence of Light When selecting a title for their works, writers choose a title that is meaningful. Elie Wiesel’s chose to title his book, about his experiences during the Holocaust, “Night”. This title is an extremely appropriate choice as it has both literal and figurative significance in the work. “Night” refers to both the actual, physical darkness of nighttime as well as the darkness that exists in a soul devoid of hope and faith. In much the same way that “The Sermon at Benares” and “The Sermon on the Mount” utilize light as a symbol for divinity and the goodness of man, Wiesel uses “Night” to describe the absence of such light. On a literal level, many important events take place at night. Mrs Schacter’s horrid visions of hell take place at night. Elie and his family are taken to Auschwitz at night and upon arrival witness the smoke of burning bodies escaping into the night sky. Also, Elie’s father dies at night. In fact, Elie states that so much suffering has made life seem like one long night. He feels like he cannot escape the darkness of the night. Night is also used as a metaphor for the loss of faith experienced by Elie. “ This day I ceased to plead…My eyes were open and I was alone-terribly alone in a world without God…without love or mercy” (Wiesel,65). This quote shows Elie beginning to lose his faith, and therefore his hope. He has suffered so much that he has stopped trying to escape the darkness, he has embraced it. As a result of this tumultuous time in his life, Elie is forever changed. He says "The night was gone. The morning star was shining in the sky. I too had become a completely different person. The student of the Talmud, the child that I was, had been consumed in the flames. There remained only a shape that looked like me. A dark flame had entered into my soul and devoured it." (Wiesel, 43). The darkness entered

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