Night: Jews and Elie Wiesel Essay

Submitted By kyleechrist
Words: 820
Pages: 4

Kylee Christensen
Chapter 1 in Night In the novel Night Elie Wiesel uses irony and paradox in the first chapter to make the reader feel a certain way, to clarify circumstances, to reveal an inner truth, and to relate the literary devices to the nature of an event. Irony is written in three different forms situational, verbal, and dramatic. Elie Wiesel makes use of all forms of irony in the first chapter. One example of irony is when the Jewish communities began to celebrate Passover soon everything would change. On the seventh day of the Jewish celebration, “the curtain finally rose: the Germans arrested the leaders of the Jewish community.” (Page 10) The irony is terribly tragic and makes the reader understand how sudden the holocaust happened. One day the Jewish communities are celebrating and another day they are being slaughtered. This makes the reader have a sense of compassion for the Jewish people; their holiday was cancelled for their own murder. Another example of irony is when the Jewish people are forced to wear a yellow star believing, “a yellow star? So what? It’s not lethal…” (Page 11) The terrible irony of the yellow star was it was lethal. Since these people assumed the yellow star was harmless they didn’t worry about it, ignorance led to their own massacre. This moment of irony reflects how much the Jewish people did not want to believe what was going to happen to them also exemplifying the tragedy of these events. The next example of irony is Moche the Beadle telling the Jews from Sighet his story of the foreign Jews being killed, but he escaped. Moche came back to warn the Jews. The entire Jewish community believes Moche the Beadle is crazy and has lost his mind. It is ironic because Moche the Beadle is the only sane person realizing what will happen to the Jewish population and what the Germans will do. The use of irony again shows how the Jewish people are resisting the truth. The final example of irony is “Valuable objects, precious rugs, silver candlesticks, Bibles and other ritual objects were strum on dusty grounds-pitiful relics that seemed never to have a home. All under a magnificent blue sky…” (Page 15) The irony of this passage is that through all the chaos it is a beautiful day in Sighet. Life is going on even though Jewish lives are ending. These people are being overlooked by everyone and everything including the physical world. Elie Wiesel uses the literary device of irony very effectively in the first chapter. Elie Wiesel also uses the literary device of paradox in the first chapter of Night. The first example of paradox in chapter one when Moche the Beadle is speaking to Elie Wiesel he says “every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer…” (Page 4-5) This quote is paradoxical because it is self contradictive if a question has power, but is lost in the answer as humans our nature is to find an answer. We lose the power of the question through the answer. Is