Characterization in Elie Wiesel's Night

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Characterization in "Night" by Elie Wiesel

Wiesel uses various characterization tools to reveal character. Direct characterization, as well as family life, are among the few tools through which character has been strongly revealed. In most of the chapters, both major and minor characters are described by the author other than the characters left to act and behave, hence, their character understood by their audience. On the other hand, family is a major tool that is used for characterization. Through the need to remain loyal to family, conflict is brought out strongly. At one point, for example, Eliezer is in conflict with himself on whether to continue fighting for his father or to just forget about him and worry about himself. As a major character, therefore, family is used as a mirror through which his character is revealed and understood.

Themes in "Night"

Several themes in the novel exemplify the horrifying experience by Jews as they are transported from one concentration camp to another. Although there are many minor themes, Family, mortality, and violence are strongly evident. The above modify the plot

The Theme of Family

The theme of family is brought out through several characters such as Rabbi Eliahu's son, Eliezer, and stein. Eliezer does not only lie about his age so as not to be cremated but also not to be separated from his family. In addition to the above, although Eliezer and his father are separated from the rest of their family, Eliezer struggles to see his father okay when tormented by the cruel police who command them. He protects him from being thrown out of the train when he seemed dead and also fights to give him coffee on the verge of hunger-related death. Unlike Eliahu's son, he remains loyal to his father till death. Stein also demonstrates the theme of family by asking about their welfare. Upon learning that they are not alive, he gives up fighting to live. In addition to the two cases above, Eliahu's son can be used to demonstrate a conflict between the need to fight for oneself or family when he decides to fight for his own life other than that of his frail father. The above theme, as brought out by the different characters help in modifying the plot by allowing the author to present the narrative appealingly.

Violence and Mortality

Violence and mortality are two intertwined major themes that are evident in the novel. They form the major part of the plot. Since their departure from Sighet, the Jews are not only tormented but many are left to die or killed indefinitely. Through a routine selection, those who are to die are set apart from those who are to labor in different working sections. For those who are not deemed to die, they are allocated hard work under inhumane working conditions. Even worse, they are occasionally beaten up. On the other hand, those deemed to die are mostly cremated. Others were hanged while many others died from the torment they were subjected to in the concentration camps.

December 12, 2023

Life Literature



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Night Literature Review

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