Symbolism In Night By Elie Wiesel

1336 Words 6 Pages
The Holocaust was a period of genocide in which under Adolf Hitler’s command, 6 million Jews were killed. In this novel, Elie Wiesel shares his experiences in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. In Night, Wiesel exemplifies a number of literary strategies throughout the novel. Through comparisons, symbolism, and personification, the main character’s progression is conveyed at the three different stages of the novel. In the beginning of the novel, Wiesel demonstrates symbolism, comparisons, and personification to introduce the main character, Eliezer. Wiesel illustrates symbolism of the yellow star to indicate Eliezer’s lack of personal thought of the meaning behind it. As the Hungarian police start to watch the town of Sighet, they …show more content…
Eliezer does not think much when he receives the yellow star because he assumes everything will return to normal conditions after a few days. Another strategy Wiesel portrays is personification to describe Eliezer’s inner feelings toward the Hungarian police. During the Hungarian police raid of their town of Sighet, Eliezer thinks, “It was from that moment that I began to hate them, and my hate is still the only link between us today.” (15) Eliezer states that he hates the Hungarian police because they are extremely cruel, and thus, different from his world. Eliezer further says that his hate is ‘the only link between us today’, and in this context, hate is an inanimate object and cannot actually be a physical link. An additional …show more content…
Wiesel displays a simile to indicate Eliezer’s very observant mind. When Eliezer enters Buna, he notices the German head of their tent, and says, “An assassin’s face, fleshy lips, hands like a wolf’s paws.” (35) Entering a concentration camp is an experience that is so new to Eliezer’s world, so he starts to observe everything he sees. When he notices the German head, he describes his face to be scary looking and he compares his hands to the paws of wolf because he is predatory and aggressive. Another strategy Wiesel exhibits is symbolism of Eliezer’s shoes to reveal Eliezer’s only remaining personal belonging. The German head’s assistant comes up to Eliezer and asks Eliezer to do a trade with him. Eliezer bluntly replies, “I refused to give him my shoes. They were all I had left.” (35) Eliezer’s shoes are his last personal belonging from home, and after being separated from his mother and sisters, he absolutely refuses to give up his shoes. A further strategy Wiesel presents is a metaphor to expose Eliezer’s conform to the daily life of camp. As the days in camp slowly pass by, Eliezer starts to adjust to this new lifestyle, and he says, “Bread, soup-these were my whole life.” (38) Eliezer starts to only focus on living and eating, and he starts to compare bread and soup as his whole life while previously before Eliezer’s whole life revolved

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