Symbolism Of Silence In Night By Elie Wiesel

1673 Words 7 Pages
He is sitting in the dark corner of an overcrowded wooden stable barrack designed originally for horses. Yesterday he was Elie, a fifteen year old boy from Sighet Transylvania, today he is an eighteen year old boy, A-7713. Within a few short hours, Elie Wiesel’s life is transformed as he and his family are affected by the Holocaust. They were first transported to a small ghetto in their hometown and later a larger ghetto. Following is the transportation to Birkenau, Buna, Auschwitz, Gleiwitz, and Buchenwald. While all of these places are different, they all share one thing in common : silence. The symbolic meaning behind the theme, silence, is interpreted in the memoir, Night, by Elie Wiesel, through aspects of God, the world, and death during …show more content…
Every victim of the Holocaust viewed their situation from a different perspective. Some saw it as a test from God, and others a punishment. Some gained courage through the acts of injustice against them, and others are weakened by them. Regardless of how they dealt with it, death came into their lives silently; unable to prepare for it, and not knowing when it would come. The first time Elie witnessed someone being killed he was horrified and frightened. However, over time, the victims of the Holocaust being held in camps grew accustomed to death and it became a commonality. One night as Elie lay awake, fighting sleep, “All round [him] death was moving in, silently, without violence. It would seize upon some sleeping being, enter into him, and consume him bit by bit" (89). The muteness of death and how common it became in the camps represents the passivity of the Holocaust victims. Their silence as they and their loved ones suffered is what brought death upon the camps. This is both a strength and a weakness because no one spoke up, and maybe if they had less people would have died. At the same time, if they did speak up they were likely to be killed. Some people refused to let silence prevail and their voice was their only thing left. When Elie was taken to the infirmary in Buna, he lay next to a Hungarian Jew suffering from dysentery. The man “was skin and bones, his eyes were dead. [Elie] could just hear his voice, the only indication that he was alive. Where did he get the strength to speak?” (78). This man found his strength through his voice, and was not going to let it be taken away from him. Despite losing his identity and possessions, nobody could take away his voice. Your voice is the way one communicates and presents themselves to the world. It is where knowledge, ideas, and opinions are spread, and even if you have nothing left, you will always have a

Related Documents