Search Menu

Contents

Eliezer

Eliezer is more than just a traditional protagonist; his direct experience is the entire substance of Night. He tells his story in a highly subjective, first-person, autobiographical voice, and, as a result, we get an intimate, personal account of the Holocaust through direct descriptive language. Whereas many books about the Holocaust use a generalized historical or epic perspective to paint a broad picture of the period, Eliezer’s account is limited in scope but gives a personal perspective through which the reader receives a harrowingly intimate description of life under the Nazis.

First and foremost, it is important to differentiate between the author of Night, Elie Wiesel, and its narrator and protagonist, Eliezer. That a distinction can be made does not mean that Night is a work of fiction. Indeed, except for minor details, what happens to Eliezer is exactly what happened to Wiesel during the Holocaust. But Wiesel alters minor details (for example, Wiesel wounded his knee in the concentration camps, while Eliezer wounds his foot) in order to place some distance, however small, between himself and his protagonist. It is extremely painful for a survivor to remember and write about his or her Holocaust experience; creating a narrator allows Wiesel to distance himself somewhat from the trauma and suffering about which he writes.

Wiesel did not write Night merely to document historical truths about physical events. The memoir is concerned with the emotional truth about the Holocaust, as experienced by individuals. As Eliezer struggles for survival, his most fundamental beliefs—his faith in God, faith in his fellow human beings, and sense of justice in the world—are called into question. He emerges from his experience profoundly changed. The Holocaust shakes his faith in God and the world around him, and he sees the depths of cruelty and selfishness to which any human being—including himself—can sink. Through Eliezer, Wiesel intimately conveys his horrible experiences and his transformation as a prisoner during the Holocaust.

Ending

by rccarlson, July 16, 2013

The reason Night ends by leaving you with questions is because, as Moishe the Beadle said in the beginning, "there is a certain power in a question that is lost in the answer."

5 Comments

63 out of 73 people found this helpful

Night

by RangerActual, December 02, 2013

These notes need more detail over character's actions in the book, other than that. Good job.

3 Comments

51 out of 98 people found this helpful

Date of Auschwitz Concentration Camp's Liberation

by Themastre234, February 19, 2015

It's wrong on the plot section of Night in Spark notes. Th date of liberation is January 27th 1945

5 Comments

6 out of 38 people found this helpful

See all 10 readers' notes   →

Buy on BN.com and save!

Night

Night (SparkNotes Literature Guide Series)

Got it?
Take a quiz on All Major Characters →