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Night Elie Wiesel Silence Essay

Silence… it’s a simple word that can hold so much over a person. A word that once it is said no longer describes itself. In Night, Elie Wiesel uses imagery, flashbacks, and characterization to explain how silence is forced, as well as broken into the people throughout the Holocaust. The inmates were forced to watch horrific events and became accustomed to it, many others did as well, such as the townspeople, who were used to seeing emaciated prisoners pushed through the towns. None of them said a word about it in public for they were also living in fear, whether they were conscious of it or not.

Many people suffered nd were forced to keep silent about the horrific events occurring in and outside of the camp. In Night, Elie Wiesel uses imagery, flashbacks, and characterization to show how silence is forced upon the prisoners. Many people were being killed in the concentration camps and some were made examples of. In the story Night, Elie uses imagery to show how vivid and horrific the events that occur in the concentration camps and how impressionable they can be on a person. During Elie’s time at one camp there was a young pipel who was hung for helping with a sabotage of the power for the electric plant at camp Buna.

The young boy was found guilty along with a few other male inmates who were said to have possession of weapons, as well as taking part in the sabotage. As they were being hung the small boy did not weigh enough for him to immediately die. He hung and struggled while everyone was forced to watch in horror. “(The young pipel), was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished. Behind me, I heard the same man asking: “For God’s sake, where is God? ” And from within me, I heard a voice answer: “Where He is? This is where- hanging here from this gallows.. (65).

The young pipel as innocent and so young. The author is trying to show that although the boy was young and innocent like many others, God did not have the power to save or help them. No one spoke out against this when it was happening, they all merely watched and spoke softly to themselves. Even the guards were irked and disturbed by this happening, yet none of them spoke out against it, they let it go on. They kept silent like they always did, and followed their orders.

Another example of imagery is when the prisoners were forced to walk through the towns. As we were passing through some of the villages, many Germans atched us, showing no surprise. No doubt they had seen quite a few of these processions… ” (46). The villagers became accustomed to seeing these things and found it normal. Whether anyone silently thought it was wrong or not, no one said a word. Elie struggles through the book with many things including trying to figure out how the world could stay silent while they knew this was going on, he used flashbacks to show what he was feeling throughout the book.

As the prisoners were marched through towns, the people walking by barely batted an eye at the prisoners who were being herded and pushed around like cattle. They turned the other way ignoring all that was happening. They were ignorant in a way for doing such a thing, yet they will never know the horrors that were fully experienced in the camps. “Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.. ” (34). This exemplified how strongly he felt in this and in what he was writing, for who he was writing.

He will never forget the nocturnal silence that made him no longer wish to live. It was too quiet. Not a word said, not a word uttered against this. Elie also vividly remembers how he started to silently struggle with is faith. He said no word to anyone about it, yet he silently struggles within himself. “Why should I sanctify His name? The Almighty, the eternal and terrible Master of the Universe, chose to be silent. ” (33). Elie did not say a word out loud, he kept it in his mind. The silence would be deafening and still no one stood against it.

No one fought to help them, it was them against the world. Elie grew as a character throughout the book and you can see a change in him, his characterization. At the beginning of the book Elie had loved and longed to learn more about his religion. As time goes by in the camp and his faith diminishes as he starts to lose himself. “In the midst of these men assembled for prayer, I felt like an observer, a stranger,” (68). He turned from a boy longing to learn more about his faith, to a boy who lost all faith in anything religious.

As another example, towards the end of the book Elie’s father was not doing well. They had all been through so much and in the end even pure desire to live for one more moment was not enough. Elie’s father begged him to just let him sleep and not get up at one point, yet Elie would not stand for it. His father kept going downhill health wise. The ill were to get no food, as it should not be wasted on them. In the sick block Elie’s father kept begging him for more water, he had started to become a bit mad with fever. Elie could no longer give it to him for otherwise he would be beaten.

The officer came closer and shouted to him to be silent. But my father did not hear. He continued to call to me. The officer wielded his club and dealt him a violent blow to the head. I didn’t move. I was afraid, my body was afraid of another blow, this time to my head. My father groaned once more, I heard: “Eliezer.. | could see that he was still breathing- in gasps. I didn’t move. ” (111). In this it shows, through characterization, how much Elie has changed throughout the entire book as well as this specific time in his life.

He went from a boy who was protecting his father, to a man having to care for himself and think about himself. Elie kept silent while his father was being beaten, he just laid there, hearing and seeing what was happening. Though it may have been to protect himself, it showed how he kept silent as well as how he had changed. Throughout the book Night, silence is exemplified and shown n small and large proportions; whether it be Elie’s silent struggle with his faith, his struggle to understand why everyone kept quiet about the wrongdoings of the camps, or various other things.

Wiesel is trying to teach us about the harm of silence as well as his experience with it. He said there are many things he will never forget but silence was always there. It could be the silent dark night or the silence of someone hiding a secret. He will be stuck with these memories and the haunting ideas of all that has happened. Silence can be deadly, yet silence always speaks louder than words.

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