Symbolism In Night By Elie Wiesel

Words: 1324
Pages: 6

The Persona Change of Elie Wiesel
The book Night is a work in which Elie Wiesel, the author, depicts his experiences and changes as a young Jewish boy, who transitions between various concentration camps. During the Holocaust, between 1941 and 1945, the Nazi’s killed six million Jews. The Nazi’s believe that Germans were “racially superior” to the Jews, because they were deemed “inferior,” and were a threat to the German community. The Nazi’s systematically torture the Jewish prisoners in order to diminish their individual identities or personas; the protagonist of the novel, Elie, is systematically put through torture, and through the author’s use of symbolism the reader clearly observes his change of persona.
In chapter three, Elie Wiesel uses the fire at the crematorium to symbolize the
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The prisoners were forced to leave all of their beloved belongings, which they had carried with them from home, in the wagon. When they arrived at the camp, the Nazi’s commanded the prisoners to give up all of their clothes except for their belts and shoes; their heads were shaved. The Nazi's had systematically managed to take away all the items that would give a prisoner and individual “look.” When the head's assistant attempted to get Elie’s shoes by bribing him with an extra ration of bread and margarine Elie adamantly refused: “ I refused to give him my shoes. They were all I had left.” His victory on holding onto a piece of his persona was short-lived as the author admits,“Later on they were taken from me just the same. But in exchange for nothing this time” (Wiesel 35). Eliezer’s loss of his shoes was also a loss of part of himself- a part of his persona. The realization that the lives of the prisoners were not of any value came earlier when he saw the babies being thrown into the fire at the