Topic: Night by Elie Wiesel

1. Identify and discuss the different ways in which the theme of “night” is developed literally and metaphorically.
2. Explain how the memoir addresses themes related to witnessing, silence, and death.
3. Identify father-son relationships in the memoir and explain how and why they shift.
4. Identify the various “prophets” that appear in the memoir and explain how the prophets relate to truth.
5. Explain how the author delivers the memoir’s message through metaphor.
6. Describe and trace the evolution of Eliezer’s faith and his relationship with God.
7. Discuss how various characters experience a crisis of faith.
8. Identify and describe the transformation of men into beasts and explain the root causes behind these crises of humanity.
9. Identify the motifs of fire and smoke in the text and describe how they contribute to the memoir.
10. Identify the motifs of mirrors in the text and describe how they contribute to the memoir.

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

"Master of the Universe, know that the children of Israel are suffering too much; they deserve redemption, they need it. But if, for reasons unknown to me, You are not willing, not yet, then redeem all the other nations, but do it soon!"

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

How should mankind “respond to monstrous moral evil”?

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

What world replaces the world Elie Wiesel describes in Night? Who are the perpetrators, victims, bystanders in this new world? Discuss the worth of women, the elderly, and children.

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Is Eliezer an "Everyman"?

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Is Eliezer's journey a "monomyth" - a hero's journey? Is Eliezer's survival an "Exodus"?

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Discuss Elie Wiesel as a “messenger to mankind” and as “one of our most important spiritual leaders and guides.”

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

"What is the state of our morality at the dawn of the 21st century?"

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Discuss Wiesel's use of white space and silence.

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ... Perhaps the only true dignity of man is his capacity to despise himself. ... Eternal vigilance is the price of knowledge. ... A child educated only at school is an uneducated child" - George Santayana

or

"Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin." - James 4:17

But ...

How do we learn what we do not know?

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Is Night a Bildungsroman?

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Why does Eliezer choose survival?

Why does he not give in to death like Brutus and Portia or Romeo and Juliet?

Consider Kafka's Ape, Caroline from The Tower, or the Man from The Sea Devil.

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

"I ran off to look for my father. And at the same time I was afraid of having to wish him a Happy New Year when I no longer believed it.

He was standing near the wall, bowed down, his shoulders sagging as though beneath a heavy burden. I went up to him, took his hand and kissed it. A tear fell upon it. Whose was that tear? Mine? His? I said nothing. Nor did he. We had never understood each other so clearly."

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never."

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

"Faith is the cornerstone of a relationship with God; it is also the cornerstone of Eliezer's relationships with others, which in turn give him a sense of his own identity. It is shared faith in God which binds the Jews of Sighet together, and it is faith in each other which makes those relationships viable and strong."

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Ellen Fine writes, "to care for another shows the persistence of self in a system principally designed to annihilate the self."

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Need a break: Read "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg, watch "Freedom Writers".

Read Fr Roger's blog about the following paradox about human suffering: "When we turn away from Jesus we suffer the torments of sin; that’s pretty obvious.  But did you know that when we turn to Jesus we also suffer?"

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Psalm 150
http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=258408992

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastiche

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Consider the following passage: "The stomach alone was aware of the passage of time." What is the function of time in the novel? What mind/body problems does Elie discover in his fight for survival? Lastly, consider that after all the suffering of the camp, Elie gets food poisoning at the end and almost dies; what were the health challenges of saving the camp survivors?

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

Read: Allen Ginsberg's "Kaddish"

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15307

Re: Night by Elie Wiesel

When you endeavour to write about Wiesel's "Night" reread the author's own introduction to the text:

For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to de- prive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.