Night by Elie Wiesel tells the true story of a young Jewish teenager named Eliezer and his journey to survive in a concentration camp. This riveting autobiography focuses on the various experiences that can lead a person to maturing over a short period of time and the importance of keeping hope in the worst of situations. While this novel was not my absolute favorite, there were several attributes that made it an interesting read nonetheless.
The author used a few literary devices to capture the attention of the reader while making sure to portray his story realistically and truthfully. I particularly liked the symbolism that was used periodically throughout Night, which accentuated the themes of maturation, hope, and selflessness. Additionally, it was interesting how much I learned about the Holocaust through hearing Eliezer’s story. This character grew so much during his time in the concentration camps and made very mature decisions that others, driven by hunger and greed, chose not to follow. For example, while children his age stole food from the weaker elders in the camp, Eliezer sacrificed his meager portions to his father in an attempt to conquer his growing sickness and keep his father alive.
The only fault I found in Night was the repetitiveness. However, I would still recommend it to students in Freshman Honors English because I think that its theme of losing innocence ties in with our class theme of maturing. Furthermore, the truthfulness of this story draws the reader in. Wiesel shows his audience the truth about concentration camps and how Eliezer managed to survive despite the impossibly torturous circumstances by never losing hope.