Mary Pittman Mr. Zemp English 101 January 20, 2010
Unforgettable Night What started out as a normal night ended up as a night from hell. It was the day of graduation and everything was perfect. This day marked the beginning of the summer before my senior year. I had already made plans to go on trips to the beach with my family and friends. My friend, Bailes, was in town for graduation, as a surprise. She moved to Ohio her sophomore year and came to South Carolina when she could, which was not very often. That morning, when graduation was over, she texted me and said she was having a movie night at her house.
She had invited the usual group of friends that we hung out with when she came into town. Her mom had recently moved into a new house, so I had never been there before. No one had ever been there. Bailes texted the directions to everyone’s phone so they would know how to get there. I had to work that day, so I was a little late getting to Bailes’ house. I was driving on dark and unfamiliar roads, so I was a little nervous. After a few wrong turns on Tower Road, I made it just in time. I walked in and was greeted by a huge hug from Bailes, whom I hadn’t seen in eight months.
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After talking to her for a few minutes to briefly catch up, I moved on to talk to everyone else. As time passed, more and more people started to arrive. Eventually, I found a nice, comfy spot on the couch. My friend Bart, whom I had known my entire life, came to sit beside me. It took us at least 15 minutes to decide what movie we should watch. The entire time everyone was deciding on a movie, Bart and I were joking around and acting like idiots. Bart had his own style. He wore socks that came up to his calf with shorts, which always amused me.
I remember asking him jokingly, “Do you have a tan line from your socks? ”. His response was, of course, “I don’t know. ” Bart was a very mellow, carefree person. He just went with the flow and did what he wanted. I was still curious about the tan line, so I pulled down his socks, and there just happened to be a tan line. The whole room filled with laughter. Not even half-way through the movie Bart got a phone call from our friend Michael. Michael wanted Bart to meet him at the end of Tower Road; a road I will never forget. Bart got up to leave and I asked him if he wanted someone to ride with him.
I did not want him to go by himself just in case something happened. I had never ridden with him before, so I had no idea how he drove. Tower Road is a road that has uneven pavement, potholes, very faint lines, and no helpful signs. It has many turns and hills. Bart was driving entirely too fast for that particular road, but, like an idiot, I said nothing to him about slowing down. We got to the end of the road and had to wait a few minutes because Michael was not there yet. While we waited we carried on casual conversation. Conversations, however, I will never forget.
Michael finally got there and we started to head back to Bailes’. We were both unfamiliar with Tower Road. Bart was driving fast and glanced down at his cell phone for a split second; he never saw the curve coming. I looked ahead and saw the curve. A curve, on this awful road, that has changed my life forever. I screamed, “Bart! ” trying to grab his attention, but it was a little too late. The next thing is the sound of shattering glass and the scraping of his Ford Explorer against trees. My body jerked forward and then backwards. Those few seconds seemed to last a lifetime.
Then it was all over and everything was silent. I opened my eyes and looked around. I saw trees and broken glass. We had ended up in a ditch near a creek. I looked to my left and saw Bart. His eyes were closed and he did not look too banged up. I thought he was fine. I screamed for Michael to call 911 and tried to wake Bart up, yelling, “Bart, get up. We need to get out of here. ” I kept calling his name, but never got an answer. Michael ran down the ditch to help us get out of the car. My door would not open, so he had to pull me out through the window, telling me, “Watch the glass. The glass was the least of my worries. I was bleeding from my face, but I felt nothing. Michael tried to get Bart out, but there was nothing we could do. The police, ambulance, and fire truck came. It seemed like an hour before they got there. They immediately looked at me and asked me questions about what happened, if I was ok. Stuff like that. I told them I was fine and to get my friend out of the car. I was taken to the hospital, where I was given x-rays and looked over. I kept asking about Bart, but no one ever said anything. My mom came in and then my sister.
After a few minutes they told me Bart did not make it. I fell into tears. A little while later, I left the hospital. I went straight to my friend Blake’s house. Everyone had gone there to be together. I walked up to my friends who were crying their eyes out. The next day I went to the accident site with my friend Bailes. There was debris from the car all over the ground. In the ditch lay one of Bart’s socks and his shoes. The fast, hard impact of a tree we hit had blown them right off of him. After seeing the scene, Bailes and I went to Bart’s house to see his family.
Considering the circumstances, they seemed to be ok. We left their house and went to see their car. Seeing the car was one of the most difficult things for me. I fell to my knees crying. The days that followed were filled with tears. The visitation was two days after the accident, the funeral three. After the visitation, some of my friends and I put a cross on the curve where the accident happened. Since then, life has not been the same. I was not able to drive for two weeks after the accident. I was too afraid. Even today, I do not drive on certain roads or ride with many people.
As for my friends, everyone seems to be okay now. We have all remained very close. We are there for each other, no matter what. Still, every day is a struggle. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Bart or the accident. I remember every noise, every word, and every feeling-- memories that haunt me on a daily basis; memories I wish I didn’t have. When I think about Bart, all of that goes away. Memories of him always put a smile on my face. He was such a wonderful, loving, and funny person. He was the best friend anyone could ever ask for. My love for him will never die. He is missed greatly.
Night Essay: Examples of Night
“I became A-7713. From then on, I had no other name. ” (42) Elie Wiesel’s Night is about a young Jewish boy and his experiences through the Holocaust in the 1940’s. Any human being should never experience the hell-like terror that Elie had to go through. He is separated from his mother and his sister and is deported to Auschwitz, one of Hitler’s most depressing concentration camps. Wiesel uses night not only as the title but also as a symbol of time, a world without God, and man’s inhumanity to man. Night is defined as a time of day when the sun is dormant, but for Elie Wiesel, night is eternal.
While stuck inside the camp, hope is quickly diminished in Elie’s mind, overtaken by the deep darkness that night brings. This can be clearly seen when Ellie explains his last night in Buna. “Yet another last night. The last night at home, the last night in the ghetto, the last night in the train, and, now the last night in Buna. How much longer were our lives to be dragged out from one ‘last night’ to another? ”(79) The question that Elie repeats shows that light in the camp can be seen as sign of hope, but sadly no light shines in the gloomy, depressing place.
Elie explains how he encounters a complete darkness, no matter what time of day it is, when he enters Auschwitz. “Never shall I forget the night, the first night in the camp, which has turned my life into one long night. ”(32) The horrid sights he has to live through in the camp can be seen as the scary, evil, eerie feeling that you get when nightfall arrives, almost like a time of day were there is no presence of God. When forced to evacuate the camp, Elie explains how the darkness swallowed people’s lives as they were marched to death. “Pitch darkness. Every now and then, an explosion in the night.
They had orders to fire on any who could not keep up. ”(81) With the sound of gunshots and people dying, night hovered over every single one of them marching for their own lives. The gloomy, dark, fright-filled nighttime can be closely related to the horrid journey of Elie Wiesel in Auschwitz were no light can be seen, even in the daytime. If God could be seen as light, then the loss of faith is his darkness. On page 60, Elie experiences a young boy being hanged as a punishment inside the camp. From witnessing the awful sight it reminds Elie of the harsh reality of the Nazi’s and how they have deteriorated his faith, a vital omponent for staying alive in the camp. Elie then hears a question come from behind him. “Where is god now? And I heard a voice within me answer him: Where is he? Here he is- He is hanging here on his gallows . . . ” (62) Elie felt as though God no longer had his support and that he had lost faith within him. He explains the young, innocent boy dying in front of him as his faith slowly slipping away. Elie began to doubt the support from God. “I did not deny God’s existence, but I doubted His absolute justice. ”(42) God was no longer meaningful and helpful towards Wiesel’s struggles; he had nothing to turn to when deeply in need.
Nighttime can be seen as a time when God is no longer there, when the evil emerges from their dwellings in which they hid from the light in. Auschwitz is an eternal night, where evil doesn’t need to hide because no light is visible. The horror and inhumanity of the Nazi’s left million of innocent people trapped in a place of darkness without the slightest sign of light or hope. This can be seen numerous times throughout the whole book. Disturbing sights that Ellie experienced will remain with him and haunt him forever because of how brutal they are.
The Nazi just threw out the dead corpses. They undressed him, the survivors avidly sharing out his clothes, then two ‘gravediggers’ took him, one by the head and one by the feet, and threw him out of the wagon like a sack of flour. ” The way they just threw around the dead as though they were useless, inanimate objects was something no normal minded person could do. As they made their evacuation, the SS screamed and yelled at the poor people saying things like, “Faster, you swine, you filthy sons of bitches! ”(81) The Nazi’s showed little to no sympathy towards the people that were different from them.
They felt superior to all and dehumanized those who weren’t. When finally being released from imprisonment, Ellie wanted to see what he had looked like. “I had not seen myself since the ghetto. From the depths of the mirror, a corpse glazed back at me. ”(109) The fact that Ellie had not seen himself since he had entered the ghetto is unreal. He barely recognized his standing ‘corpse’. Dehumanization does extremely awful things to people and the Nazis did a textbook job of doing so. Leaving people suffering under the wrath of the horror and inhumanity with a result of innocent people dying.
Man’s inhumanity to man, a world without God, ad night as a symbol of the time of day, symbolizes night in Ellie Wiesel’s novel. In additions to the time of day, night can be seen as an everlasting darkness Elie has to endure while stuck inside the camp with no sign of light or hope in sight. Elie Wiesel shares his story to educate the world of the harsh reality of dehumanization. Sadly this is still active in our world today. They say that knowledge is power; ignorance is bliss, so hopefully Elie’s story will reach the souls of humanity and potentially keep history from repeating itself in the near future.
The night was silent. The half moon gazed down benevolently on the city, alone in a starless stretch of black sky. The streets were empty, and all that reached out into the shadowy darkness were the street lamps, placed so methodically and evenly it made them seem more significant than they really were. Near one of these lamps, on a bench, was an ancient man, his hair grey, his face was warped with deep wrinkles, a pair of round rimmed spectacles perched on his nose. His dull eyes, seeming to be staring into nothingness, peered sadly through the lenses.
He slowly unlatched the case on his lap and reverently lifted the saxophone from its place, and is it opened, the weak yet mystifying golden glow emerged from it, only visible from the slight glimmer of the street lamps. The man pressed the mouth piece to his lips, and in a moment, music filled the night. The smooth, deep resonating tones of the saxophone echoed through the stillness. Its strong voice sang a melancholic requiem. The instrument was singing of times long past, of memories half forgotten, love once had, life at its peak and decline.
The sounds resonated through the empty streets, reaching out in vain. The man stood as the song reached the climax, and as he did, the emotions that were resonating so beautifully seemed only to be amplified, this was pure expression from the soul; unprepared, and unrestrained. The man closed his eyes and arched backwards as the saxophone bellowed its elegy. Untainted emotions, pure and true, resounded from the notes, a defiant dirge amidst the sadness and grief of loss and solitude. Then the night was silent again.
His performance was applauded by the silence and the dark, and it was deafening. The elderly man breathed heavily, perspiration dampening his dull grey hair. He fell back on the bench and before long, began absently polishing the saxophone. His audience, the darkness, seemed to evaporate into the night, and he was left more alone than before. He heaved a sigh and reached for the case. Suddenly, sound had blessed the night. The rich sound of a saxophone reverberated from the darkness. The man started and rose from the bench, the rich melody wafting towards him like an old friend.
He twisted and swivelled, his eyes brightened as he searched for the player. By a street lamp, was a silhouette of a person with a saxophone, the musician sitting by the lamp, not close enough to be illuminated and not far enough to be hidden, but there was no reason for the mysterious figure to be identified. The man immediately recognised the musician’s skill, but there was a sense of incompletion in the tune, and although the tune itself sounded familiar, but he couldn’t recognise it.
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It was when the piece reached the first chorus that he finally did, and understood. He smiled warmly, his eyes glittered, and he raised his mouthpiece to his lips again. He accepted the invitation, and the music was complete. It was a song of fulfilment, contentment, of joy and harmony, the instruments’ eulogy of shared emotion and elation. The man revelled in the performance, and he knew silence would not meet him at the end of this one. The rich voices of the saxophones intertwined and coalesced. It was a glorious anthem that purged the night of silence.
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