Night Analysis Questions

Night Analysis Questions
Section 1
1. During a narration, the reader may learn a lot about a speaker based on the
descriptions and observations the speaker makes about other characters in the
novel. What do we learn about the speaker based on his description of Moishe the
2. Explain the theme of the passage below and how it will be revisited throughout the
[…]He [Moishe the Beadle] explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question
possessed a power that was lost in the answer …
Man comes closer to God through the questions he asks Him, he liked to say. Therein
lays true dialogue. Man asks and God replies. But we don’t understand His replies.
We cannot understand them.
3. How does the following passage serve as foreshadowing in the memoir?
And in the course of those evenings I became convinced that Moishe the Beadle
would help me enter eternity, into that time when question and answer would
become ONE.
Section 1
4. Explain the community’s reaction to the expulsion of the
foreign Jews from Sighet.
6. How did the people of Sighet respond to Moishe the Beadle’s
tales? Why?
7. Wiesel uses several rhetorical strategies to narrate the events
of the German invasion. Cite one example of rhetorical
questions and one example of phrases used as sentences,
then explain their significance to the memoir.
8. Explain the irony that Wiesel poses in the below questions?
Annihilate an entire people? Wipe out a population dispersed
thtoughout so many nations? So many millions of people! By
what means? In the middle of the twentieth century!
9. Explain the effect of the juxtaposition of the following lines that serve as a
beginning to the new section that begins on page nine:
ANGUISH. German soldiers—with their steel helmets and their death’s-head
emblem. Still, our first impressions of the Germans were rather
10. What does the speaker mean when he states: “The Germans were
already in our town, the Fascists were already in power, the verdict was
already out—and the Jews of Sighet were still smiling.”
11. Explain the following line: “The ghetto was ruled by neither German nor
Jew; it was ruled by delusion.”
12. Explain the symbolism and irony in the following statement: “The
shadows around me roused themselves as if from a deep sleep and left
silently in every direction.”
13. Using the following text as an example, what is the effect of Wiesel’s use of ellipses
when the speaker is recounting a conversation?
“Half asleep, he was staring at me, his eyes filled with terror, as though he expected
me to burst out
laughing and tell him to go back to bed. To sleep. To dream. That nothing had
happened. It was all
in jest …”
14. How should the reader interpret “tombstones” in the following line:
“They began to walk without another glance at the abandoned streets, the dead,
empty houses,
the gardens, the tombstones…”
15. Explain the allusions in the following passage that relates Eliezer’s sighting of the
Chief Rabbi as he makes his way out of the ghetto. Why does Wiesel include them
in Eliezer’s narration?
“It was like a page torn from a book, a historical novel, perhaps, dealing with the
captivity in Babylon or the Spanish Inquisition.”
Section 2
1. Explain the usage of the motif eyes at the
beginning of section 2. How are Mrs.
Schachter’s eyes described? What does this
mean? Make you think of?
2. What one theme do you see prevalent in this
chapter? Cite evidence to support your
3. What were your thoughts, feelings, reactions
to the cattle car testimonials? Be thorough.
Section 3
1. What does the following line indicate about Eliezer’s
emotional condition? How do we know that the emotion is
universal? “The beloved objects that we had carried with us
from place to place were now left behind in the wagon and,
with them, finally, our illusions” (29).
2. Using your understanding of imagery in the following passage,
explain how its use in this section highlights Eliezer’s memory
of his final contact with his mother and sister. Explain the
emotional contrast between the first two lines of the passage.
“Eight words spoken quietly, indifferently, without emotion... I
kept walking, my father holding my hand” (29).
3. Analyze the following passage: “‘Shut up you moron, or I’ll
tear you to pieces!’ … True. We didn’t know. Nobody had told
us” (30).
Section 3
4. Read the following passage and explain how Wiesel interrupts
the narration of the story to emphasize the truth behind what
Eliezer witnesses. “Not far from us, flames, huge flames… ever
since then, sleep tends to elude me?)” (32).
5. Explain the effect of the rhetorical questions for the paragraph
on page 32: “I pinched myself.”
6. Explain the dramatic irony in the following statement: “Still, I
told him that I could not believe that human beings were
being burned in our times; the world would never tolerate
such crimes …” (33). Why do you believe Wiesel includes this
in his memoir?
7. In section three of the memoir, what insights into the Jewish
religion and Eliezer’s response to his faith does the reader
Section 3
8. Using the following quote, characterize Eliezer as he has
changed. “For the first time, I felt anger rising within me. Why
should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and
terrible mast of the Universe, chose to be silent. What was
there to thank Him for?” (33).
9. Explain the significance in the following citation: “We were
walking slowly, as one follows a hearse, our own funeral
procession” (33).
10. What seems to be the constant concern for Eliezer?
11. “Freed from the barbers’ clutches, we began to wander
about the crowd, finding friends, acquaintances. Every
encounter filled us with joy—yes, joy: Thank God! You are still
alive!” (35). Do you believe that the men will share these
same sentiments as time progresses? Explain the irony in their
Section 3
12. How does Eliezer feel after being in the camp for one day?
13. Cite the examples of figurative language in the following
passage and explain the effect that they have on the meaning.
“A pause. He was observing the effect his words had
produced. His face remains in my memory to this day. A tall
man, in his thirties, crime written all over his forehead and his
gaze. He looked at us as one would a pack of leprous dogs
clinging to life” (39).
14. Explain the contrast of images that are used to describe the
setting that Wiesel establishes during his description of the
first days at Auschwitz found on page forty. What does the
contrast convey to the audience?
15. Contrast Eliezer’s faith in God with Akiba Drumer’s faith.
What can Akiba do for other prisoners but not for Eliezer?
Section 4
1. In the memoir, a majority of the animal imagery is
associated with the Jews. How does Wiesel alter the
animal imagery in the description of Eliezer’s beating?
Explain the purpose behind the change in images.
2. Describe Eliezer’s internal conflict while he watches his
father getting beaten. What theme does this present?
Why? Cite evidence.
3. When Eliezer sees Idek with the young Polish girl at
the depot, what results? Analyze the description of the
scene and explain how it is different than the other
brutal scenes in the memoir thus far.
Section 4
4. Explain the conflict that Eliezer faces as he is
watching the Buna factory being bombed (60).
5. Explain the metaphor in the following line: “The
last sound of the American plane dissipated in
the wind and there we were, in our cemetery”
6. How is the people’s response to the second
hanging different than the response to the
previous hangings? Explain the significance of this
event for Eliezer in terms of his faith (64-65).
Section 5
1. Read the following passage and discuss the rhetorical techniques
and their effect on the meaning in the passage. “In front of me,
there were only Tibi and Yossi. They passed. I had time to notice
that Mengele had not written down their numbers. Someone
pushed me. It was my turn. I ran without looking back. My head
was spinning: you are too skinny … you are too weak … you are too
skinny, you are good for the ovens … The race seemed endless; I felt
as though I had been running for years … You are too skinny, you
are too weak … At last I arrived. Exhausted.”
2. As winter begins, Eliezer is sent to the infirmary because of his foot.
This section of the memoir is longer than many of the other
sections and is much more descriptive. Why do you believe Eliezer
devotes so much time on this memory? Why do you believe he is
treated for his injury rather than being sent to the crematorium?
Section 6
Write an 11+ sentence paragraph explaining
how the theme self preservation versus family
commitment is developed in this section. Be
sure to cite textual evidence and thoroughly
explain .
Section 7
1. Describe and analyze the scene that
demonstrates the true brutality of both the
German laborers and the Jewish prisoners (101).
Explain the usage of imagery and author’s
purpose. How is the language used in this
section different than the language used in
similar situations of violence in the memoir?
2. Explain the significance in Wiesel’s choice to end
the story of the father and son fighting for the
piece of bread with “I was sixteen.”
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