Chapter 1: What is the significance of the concepts of light and dark or night in this passage?

At the end of chapter 1, Elie writes, " Everywhere rooms lay open...Night had fallen?"

Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

Night is a novel full of symbolism, and in this chapter Eliezer uses the word "night" repeatedly. Night is approaching, night has fallen, Eliezer and his family lie awake at night. Night functions as both a metaphor and a symbol. It is a metaphor for the Holocaust, which will submerge Eliezer's family and thousands of other Jewish families in the darkness and misery of concentration camps. Eliezer will be thrust into a world with no light and no hope, and everything around him will seem as black as night. For example, this passage comes right before Eliezer's family is deported: "Night. No one prayed, so that the night would pass quickly. The stars were only sparks of the fire which devoured us. Should that fire die out one day, there would be nothing left in the sky but dead stars, dead eyes." As it becomes closer and closer to the time that Eliezer's family is to be deported, night represents the increasing desperateness and fear that he is experiencing. Night also symbolizes the evil and destructiveness of the Nazis. The world that Eliezer describes becomes darker and darker, with an increased emphasis on night instead of day, as the Nazis draw closer to Sighet. Eliezer's world literally becomes plunged in darkness because the Nazis take away all the joy, light, and hope, replacing it with the blackness of death and evil.