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Night Essay, Research Paper


By Elie Wiesel

In Elie Wiesel’s Night, he recounts his horrifying experiences as a Jewish boy under Nazi control. His word are strong and his message clear. Wiesel uses themes such as hunger and death to vividly display his days during World War II. Wiesel’s main purpose is to describe to the reader the horrifying scenes and feelings he suffered through as a repressed Jew. His tone and diction are powerful for this subject and envelope the reader. Young readers today find the actions of Nazis almost unimaginable. This book more than sufficiently portrays the era in the words of a victim himself.

Wiesel appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos in Night. The reader’s logic is not so much directly appealed to, but indirectly the description of the events causes the reader to think and wonder how they actually took place. Logically, how were the horrifying events in World War II carried out? How could such tragedies have happened in the twentieth century? Wiesel appeals to ethos for the obvious reasons. The book is a memoir of his life as a Jewish person during World War II. He is a qualified author for this subject. Often, the reader can forget that the story is an autobiography.

The appeal to emotion is the strongest by far. It seems almost impossible for a reader not to cry at the words of Wiesel. Elie paints a portrait of life in the camp, which included hours of back-breaking labor, fear of hangings, and an overall theme throughout the book: starvation. His vivid description of a child being hanged, how he was still alive, “struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes”, truly captures the ghastly occurrences of the death camp. His own discussion of how he had lost faith in a God, and how other sons were leaving or even beating their fathers with no care enlightens the reader to the true despair that surrounded the people that inhabited these camps. Also, his description of himself in a mirror as “a corpse” that “gazed back at me” installs in the reader the overwhelming sense of how this event so completely ravaged the human soul.

This book was effective and achieved the purpose of describing the Holocaust in a personal and relative manner. I do not think anyone who reads this book does not finish it with a better understanding of what the victims of concentration camps experienced. This book provides dramatic and tearful accounts of what happened in our world just a little over fifty years ago. This story provides a lesson that no history book ever can.

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