Last Updated 04 Jan 2023

The Unknown and Fear in the Life of Eliezer in the Novel, Night by Elie Wiesel

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Throughout the entirety of the book entitled Night, nighttime has played a changing role in Eliezer’s world. Shifting from good to bad to worse, the events and occurrences that happen during the night all change Eliezer in different ways. He went from being safe indoors at night to being in a dangerous and scary place that he was not accustomed to. The night also represents the unknown and fear in Eliezer‘s life as the book progresses. He does not know what to expect from his captors and he does not know what fate has planned for him. Before Eliezer and his family were taken from their homes, nighttime was a time for peace and tranquility as Eliezer spent his time reading religious texts of prayer as he was faithful and devout Jewish boy. During this time, night represented safety to pray, read, and sleep.

This is shown multiple times throughout the first chapter as Eliezer feels safe enough to go out to the Jewish temple at night and pray to his deity. Things change soon after the Nazis bring Eliezer and his family to the concentration camp and the safety and comfort are stripped away with all of his religious beliefs and faith. Eliezer’s lack of previous safety begins to make him think that God would not let this happen to people such as himself who were so faithful and did as they were told as well as pray. This change effects Eliezer to the point where he decided that he no longer believes in god. After Eliezer was pulled away from the safety and comfort of his home, he began to realize that since all of this had been happening so fast for him that he was starting to think that this was all just one endless night that would keep on going.

This represents the harshness of the Nazi’s power as they managed to take control of his life to the point of him not even knowing what day it is The brutality of the German forces overwhelmed and broke Eliezer as he had his humanity stripped away and was a mere husk of the boy he used to be before the Nazis. Throughout his story, the night and the unknown things that it can hold played a massive role on his storytelling as it was from his perspective although we know what would‘ve happened to him due to out knowledge of the Holocaust. Whatever Eliezer does not know and what frightens him mostly comes out during the night.

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The unknown was unimaginable considering what he had already gone through as the story progressed. Many horrible things happened to Eliezer at nighttime that proves this such as when Eliezer was almost strangled to death by an unknown prisoner on the trek to Buchenwald at night towards the end of Eliezer’s story Night in the Holocaust was dark and full of unimaginable horrors that deeply effected Eliezer in a way that will stay with him for the rest of his life. The shifting role of night throughout the book showed that things in his world were getting scary and he could not control his fate. Stripped of his religion, safety, and even his own father, Eliezer withstood the torment of the Nazi’s and the unknown of the night.

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The Unknown and Fear in the Life of Eliezer in the Novel, Night by Elie Wiesel. (2023, Jan 03). Retrieved from

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