Night

Setting and Mood in Night 10th Grade

In his memoir, Night, Elie Wiesel narrates his life as a teenager forced to live in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps, struggling to stay with his father and just barely staying alive. The events described in the memoir show an arc in Eliezer’s personality, and how he quickly changed from a faithful teenage boy to a somber, solemn young man. In the memoir, Wiesel uses mood and setting to show that traumatic events can call for a sense of maturity that may or may not be present, and thus, innocence is taken away.

In Night, Wiesel uses the setting to advance the central idea. Towards the beginning of the memoir, when Eliezer was fifteen, he was very spiritual and he was very faithful in God. He even told Moishe the Beadle “how upset [he] was not to be able to find in Sighet (the town in which he lived) a master to teach [him] the Zohar, the Kabbalistic works, the secrets of Jewish mysticism,” (5). However, Eliezer very quickly found himself being transported to Auschwitz in a crowded train car. “’They are eighty of you in the car,’ the German officer added. ‘If anyone goes missing, you will all be shot, like dogs,’” (24). The officer’s aggression coupled with the large crowd of people in the cattle car made Eliezer...

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