Discuss the Significance of the Book Title, “Night”
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In the beginning of the bible, the world was dark. Then God created light in order to make it brighter. However, when the God is not here to protect the light, Night overtook. It is a time of darkness. It is also a place where people cannot see and help each other. Because of the faith in God, the darkness, hopeless of Night, and the period of Night, Elle Wiesel’s famous short novel is called “Night”, which is very significant for Elle Wiesel as well as the Jews during World War II. Firstly, lots of Jews were addicted to religious books reading because they admired God. While they were in the concentration camp, Jews had encountered many horrified things and they thought God was not there to protect them. One of the Jews said, “Where He is? This is where – hanging here from this gallows…” (Wiesel, P.65) when the Jews were forced to watch the execution of a boy. The Jews thought: How the God would allow a boy with an angelic face to be hanged by the Nazi. Because of this, people started asking where the God was. Someone even ceased believing in God. Second, Night also signified the low point of the main character, Elle’s faith in God. Elle once said, “My eyes has opened and I was alone, terribly alone in a world without God, without man, without love and mercy.” (Wiesel, P.68). Jews madly believed in the God, especially Elle.
However, after a lot of depressing things happening, Elle felt suspicious in the existence of God. He thought he should stop believing in God in order to make himself stronger. Night had made Jews felt depressed because the things that they strongly believed in were not actually real, and that was the meaning of the book title, “Night”. Throughout the novel, Night represents darkness and hopeless, and these were what exactly Jews felt about their lives. In the concentration camp, everyone just wanted to get enough ration of bread and soup every day. However, due to the long hunger, some Jews became very mad and they could use any methods to get the ration of bread and soup. Elle mentioned in the book, “The old man mumbled something, groaned and died. Nobody cared. His son searched him, took the crust of bread and began to devour it.” (Wiesel, P.101) while the Jews were transporting to another concentration camp. The boy killed his father during the train ride for a morsel of bread. It was as though darkness had eaten some of the Jews’ mind.
They turned into crazy people and some of them could even murder their friends and relatives to get things they really desired. Secondly, at the end of the novel, Elle’s father got sick. Elle kept giving his bread and soup to his father. At the same time, the Blockalteste suggested Elle to give up his father as he was hopeless and could not be saved. The Blockalteste said, “In this place, it is every man for himself, and you cannot think of others. Not even your father.” (Wiesel, P.110). Elle tried to give his ration of bread and soup to his sick father. He and the Blockalteste felt hopeless about his father because he no longer was able to drag himself outside to relieve himself. Elle then realized that giving bread and soup to his father was a waste of food. The forces of darkness and hopeless are created by Night. It was as though they lived in Jews’ mind forever. Last but not least, Night did not only witness the Jews lost faith in God, it also tells terrible and significant things happened to them at night. Elle’s father was taken by a policeman during a Jews gather. It was night that they were first told about the deportation of Jews. After releasing from the police station, Elle’s father told his friends and relatives that, “The news is terrible, TRANSPORTS!” (Wiesel, P.13).
The Jews thought that Hitler had given up his plan about the annihilation of Jews. They relaxed for a few months but Elle’s father had made people scared. They thought the German would kill all of them. After that, most of the Jews were not able to sleep and felt worried about their futures. At the same time, Night also told significant things in the Jews’ minds. One of the most touching things was about Elle’s friends, Juliek. Despite the cold weather during the transportation to another concentration camp, Juliek was persistently playing violin and he played a song during the night time. Elle mentioned in the book, “The darkness enveloped us. All I could hear was the violin, and it was as if Juliek’s soul had become his bow.” (Wiesel, P.95).
It was important as many people in the concentration camp had lost their friends, families, or even interests. However, Juliek didn’t lose his interest in playing violin and his persistence became much stronger than German’s weapons. Night was symbolic in the Jews’ minds. It emphasised the helpless of the Jews, but at the same time, Night also witnessed lots of important things in the camp, which made them unforgettable. On the whole, the reasons why this book is called “Night” is because it had symbolised darkness, hopeless and the nonexistence of God. This book is worth-reading, because people did not only write down what to see as “History”, but they also want us to acknowledge Elle Wiesel’s experiences in the concentration camp so as not to make the same mistakes again in the future. That is the reason why he wrote this infamous book.